Every year, it is estimated that one in every four British people suffers from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and others. According to the BBC, this is due in part to financial issues: one study found that over 20,000 people were pursued for debt repayment while hospitalized for mental health conditions in 2017.
Money worries can have a subtle but profound effect: anxiety stimulates certain hormones in your brain, while money worries can keep you awake at night and limit the amount of sleep you get. Money problems are sometimes the root cause of substance abuse problems. Keeping track of your finances, then, can have a significant impact on your mental health.
Prevent Stress and Anxiety
When you don’t know where your next meal will come from or how you’ll get enough money to pay your bills this month, money can become a major source of stress. To alleviate this problem, it’s best to avoid burying your head in the sand and instead create a budget. Even if the budget is bad news, you’ll feel relieved once you know where all of your money is going and where you can cut costs. This, in turn, will give you the clarity you need to identify areas where you can cut costs.
Make a thorough list of everything and really rack your brains to ensure that you haven’t overlooked anything at the start of the year. For example, you may have booked a vacation but have not yet paid for travel insurance or any necessary visas. And how about that business trip you took to Saudi Arabia last month? You paid for a Saudi Business Visa with your own money, but have you claimed your work-related expenses yet?
Those extra bits of money owed to you will help chip away at your own finances, so keep track of them and pursue what is owed to you.
Make an Investment in Yourself
Forward planning is uncommon in today’s short-term economy. Living from one monthly pay check to the next is very common, and it can keep you from living your best life. However, by setting up a standing order to save – say – 3% of your monthly income, you can accumulate enough cash over time to achieve your financial goals, which will ultimately benefit your mental health. Whether it’s a week’s vacation in the summer to recharge your batteries or even saving enough to switch careers, being organized with your money can really change your life in the long run.
There are numerous reasons why the 25% of British people who have problems with their psychological health are experiencing difficulties. But money is a major source of stress for many people: whether it’s a lack of access to the pleasures or flexibility that make life worthwhile, or simply a more immediate concern about how to pay the bills or put food on the table, money can be a major source of stress. However, by budgeting, saving, and cutting costs, you can improve your finances to the point where they are no longer a source of concern.