According to the 2023 Everyday Health United States of Stress survey, financial worries were the number one stressor for all age groups. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. adults lose sleep worrying about day-to-day expenses, retirement savings, or medical bills. Add to that unexpected expenses and saving for a vacation or a new home, and the stress felt can reach dangerous levels. Let’s see the financial situation and how we can improve our financial wellness through different measures.
What Is Financial Wellness?
Being an antonym to the financial stress, financial wellness is a state of being in which you can:
- Spend wisely so you can afford life’s basics – Live on what you make instead of more. Have enough money left after spending to pay for housing, food, and how you get around.
- Pay any bills on time – It’s essential to pay your bills on time. It can help you build a good credit score. A good credit score can then help you get loans and other types of credit at better interest rates.
- Save money for later times in your life – It could mean saving for when you stop working, a first payment on a home, or school for your kids.
- Feel good about your financial situation – It means feeling sure you can handle your personal finance to reach what you want with money.
What Are The Financial Stress Symptoms?
Financial stress is a regular issue that can influence your psychological and financial well-being. It tends to happen because of reasons like losing employment, unforeseen costs, or indebtedness. When you have financial stress, you may encounter various feelings, for example:
- Emotional symptoms – Anxiety because of financial stress can bother you every day. Mental health issues, such as worry, fear, and irritability, are no joke. Everything is piling on top, and you can’t catch your breath. And thinking about a no credit check medical financing when having problems with your credit report can be a solution, but you can’t see it because of all this stress. Nothing seems right, and you start questioning everything. Money might become an issue – sometimes you just want to spend it all to escape. Other times, the thought of the expenditure of anything makes your stomach turn.
- Physical symptoms – Headaches, stomachaches, muscular tension, and difficulty sleeping are all possible symptoms. Financial troubles may be stressful. You can do several things to assist, such as creating a budget, setting a plan to repay what you owe, and seeking professional help if necessary.
How To Cope With Financial Stress?
We have a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms that burden everyday living. But you could try several basic financial and mental health care measures. If you’re having financial concerns, here are some things you can do to feel better and improve your financial and mental health:
- Create a budget – A budget can help you track your income and spending, letting you know where your money goes. It enables you to identify areas where you can reduce expenses and save money.
- Save money – Instead of dining out, eat more meals at home. Also, attempt to reduce the amount you pay for pleasant activities. Reduce unnecessary expenses.
- Increase your income – Try to earn extra money by working another job on the side or taking a better job with a higher compensation.
Importance Of Self-Care In Financial Health
Life moves fast. So fast that we often forget to look after ourselves but want to be financially healthy. Everything else gets in front – work, family, friends. We sometimes don’t think we have time for self-care. But that’s wrong. Self-care isn’t a treat for us. It’s crucial! And not just for us but for our money and mental health too.
Seeing The Connection Between Self-Care And Money Health
Money and mental health isn’t just about having a complete bank account. It means feeling safe, accessible, and relaxed about money. If we’re scared or stressed about money worries, it can lead to these mental health challenges:
- Emotional upset – Always worrying about money can hurt our mental health. It can create feelings of sadness, fear, or even physical problems, like headaches or stomach upset.
- Bad choices – If we’re stressed or worn out, we may make quick money choices that worsen our worries.
- Less productivity – Money stress can drain us, making it hard to focus on work or other duties.
Ways Self-Care Helps Money And Mental Health
Adding self-care to our daily lives can lessen these harmful effects and make our money situation healthier. Here’s how self-care can improve our money and mental health:
- Stress management improves – Doing things such as meditating, being mindful, or enjoying nature can lower stress. It makes it simple to think clearly about money.
- Better financial literacy and choices – When we’re rested, fed well, and think clearly, we better make good money choices for our future.
- Increase productivity – Caring for our body and mind gives us more energy and focus. It helps us work better, making more money.
- Bouncing back from financial hurdles – Self-care makes us emotionally challenging. It’s easier to handle unexpected financial problems and recover faster.
Just remember, your self-care isn’t an extravagance; it’s a critical contribution to your overall health condition, which, in turn, impacts your financial stability. Giving importance to your body and overall health promotes clear thinking, wiser money management, financial literacy and builds a financially stable and worry-free future.
How Can You Improve Your Financial Wellness?
Reaching financial health takes effort over time. It needs focus, self-control, and choosing to make wise money choices. Here are some things you can do to get your financial wellness in better shape:
1. Track your spending and understand your financial habits
The first step towards financial wellness is understanding where your money is going. Start by tracking your spending for a month or two using a budgeting app or a spreadsheet. It will help you identify areas where you can cut back and make informed decisions about your spending habits.
2. Make a sensible spending plan
Once you know how much money you get and spend, plan how you’ll use your money. A plan can change to fit your income and costs. Spending more or less than planned? Adjust the plan and improve your financial wellness.
3. Pay off your debt as fast as possible, especially credit card debt
Debt with high interest grows very fast and stops you from saving money. Consider ways to lower your interest, like debt consolidation or moving debt to accounts with lower interest.
4. It’s essential to save money for emergencies
Have enough cash to pay for 3 to 6 months of your bills. It will help if something wrong happens with your job or mental and physical health. You may lose work or have considerable doctor costs. An emergency fund means you don’t need to stress as much if those things arise. Save up so you’re ready, just in case your financial wellness will thank you later.
5. Save Automatically
Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account can help you keep saving for your financial well-being. Transfer money regularly, like when you get paid or every other week. This way, you don’t have to remember and will consistently save.
Take care of yourself. Do it by using kind words and thoughts. And hold yourself accountable by hiring an accountability partner – someone who is non-judgmental and cooperative and shares your goals regarding your financial well-being.
Also, make sure that you maintain not only your financial health but also your mental and physical health. To do this, eat a nutritious diet, exercise moderately, and use mindfulness techniques. Deep breathing can help restore mental health.
Spend your money on things and experiences that bring you joy and are consistent with your values and personality. Is it a beloved book? Concert tickets to a bucket list band? Or food made from organic and ethical ingredients? It makes all the difference!