Many people struggle with money management, so it’s no surprise that money stress directly correlates with mental health issues. If you feel like your current financial outlook negatively impacts your mental health, consider implementing these five important money management tips.
1. Evaluate your spending habits.
Before you do anything else, take a hard look at your personal spending habits. Moreover, sit down with your bank and credit card statements and highlight every single purchase or expense that you’ve made. Needing to track your expenses doesn’t necessarily mean that your money-related issues are your fault. However, this process will help you understand where your money goes each month.
After you’ve highlighted all your purchases, divide those expenses by their necessity level. Mark your top-priority expenses, such as rent, utility bills, gas, health insurance, food, and scholarship fees in red. Then, examine the rest of your expenses, like eating out, shopping, and entertainment. Try to see if there are any places where you can cut back on your spending. Understanding which purchases are necessities will ultimately help you end each month with a little bit of money left over.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
When there isn’t enough money to go around, borrowing money from friends and relatives can feel like a daunting experience. If you want to avoid negatively impacting your relationships with family and friends, consider applying for a personal loan. Your personal well-being should always come first, so don’t be afraid to apply for a loan if it will help you erase some of your money stress and improve your cash flow.
3. Exercise self-control.
In today’s world of online shopping, it’s easy to stock up on unnecessary items. Instead of buying yet another tube of eye cream you’ll never use or pair of skinny jeans you’ll never wear, learn to plan your expenses. In fact, wait for discounts and special offers if you can. Black Friday is a great time to get everything you want without throwing away too much of your hard-earned income.
4. Save a little bit each month.
Saving a bit of cash each month might seem like it’s easier said than done, especially if you don’t earn a lot. When you’re trying to save, though, you don’t need to set aside huge amounts of money each month. Instead, try to save a bit of each paycheck you earn. The truth is that saving even just a few dollars each month will empower you when you finally buy something with the money you save.
5. When in doubt, consult a professional.
If you struggle with compulsive spending, you may actually suffer from an undiagnosed mental health condition. Even though this may sound like a stretch, impulsive behaviour can be a symptom of many mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. If you feel like your spending habits are out of control or notice specific patterns that you just can’t seem to shake, reach out to a mental health professional to see if you suffer from an underlying condition.
If mental health conditions aren’t an issue for you, then talk to a budgeting consultant about your spending habits. A budgeting consultant can show you exactly what you’re doing wrong and help you get your finances back on track. Many schools don’t teach personal finance, so if you’re in your 20s, it’s important to take matters into your own hands before your spending spirals out of control.
Many people feel depressed, anxious or ashamed because of their debt, but nothing will improve unless you take steps to improve your financial situation. So, instead of feeling nervous about your spending habits, follow these five steps to alleviate your money stress.