Financial well-being and mental health are inextricably intertwined, with recent research indicating that those suffering from mental health conditions find it harder to make sound financial decisions.
Like individuals in general, those in poverty tend to spend less and experience lower levels of life satisfaction. Furthermore, evidence shows that income, homeownership and economic advantage may act as buffers against financial worries leading to psychological distress.
1. Develop a budget
Money worries can be a source of immense anxiety for most people, ranking higher than work, health issues, relationships and current events as causes. To stay on track with our financial goals and avoid overspending it is key that we remain accountable.
Establishing a budget can help. Doing so allows you to identify how much income is coming in, as well as expenses being outgoing, giving a clear picture of your finances that may reduce anxiety.
Manage mental and financial wellbeing within an integrated health and wellbeing strategy is essential. Employee benefits that provide insight into interlinking factors of wellbeing will support better employee outcomes; for instance, linking musculoskeletal issues to depression could reduce absenteeism while increasing return on investment for the company.
2. Manage your debt
Adequate debt management involves paying bills on time and keeping the balances low on credit cards – both will help to improve your credit score, making it possible to reach financial goals more quickly.
If you find yourself struggling to pay the debt off each month, try subtracting money going out from money coming in and determining your “debt money”. This will enable you to prioritize and work toward eliminating it as efficiently as possible over time.
Debt can be used for good when investing in your future, such as purchasing a home or making educational purchases; however, debt is never good when used as a means to survive or while struggling with mental health issues. Luckily there are resources available that can help get back on track financially.
3. Save more
While financial challenges may appear insurmountable, small steps can make an enormous difference. Begin by setting goals and sticking to them – eventually you’ll see your hard work pay off!
Research indicates that people experiencing higher levels of stress are more likely to face mental health challenges that interfere with their quality of life and ability to earn an income, leading to financial stress or difficulties with saving. Poor mental health may even impede savings efforts altogether.
Preventative measures are key in resolving these issues, including creating healthy spending habits and recruiting an accountability partner. Furthermore, financial wellness programs can significantly boost employee satisfaction and productivity.
Financial worries have been linked with psychological distress and can interfere with one’s ability to focus on mental wellness goals. Therefore, financial wellbeing must be considered when creating mental wellness plans.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity of supporting and investing in mental health. But investment does not only involve finances; investing in mental health requires creating and supporting a culture that fosters employee well-being.
Employers must ensure their benefits systems work cohesively to offer an all-encompassing offering, including mental health care services. Adopting this approach can reduce stigmatisation of care seeking while encouraging employees to seek assistance more easily. Furthermore, including people with lived experience as part of this initiative will allow employers to determine and create funding priorities more effectively.
5. Plan for the future
Planning for your future requires setting short and long-term goals that keep you on the path toward reaching your ultimate destination. Recognizing and celebrating even minor victories will keep your motivation high, helping keep you on the journey towards achieving it all.
Financial worries and stress, specifically those related to personal and family finances, have been shown to lead to poor mental health among many adults. Social stress theory indicates that socio-economic characteristics could play a moderating role to worsen or buffer this relationship depending on an individual’s susceptibility and resources for managing stress. Therefore it is crucial that we promote integrated strategies for financial wellness and mental wellbeing.