We often make the mistake of correlating our finances to wealth and status as opposed to viewing them as an essential component of our overall health. The COVID-19 pandemic has been so devastating, taking lives ruthlessly and leaving millions jobless or without job security, that it reminded us in a brutal manner just how vital financial stability is to our overall health and wellbeing.
Financial Stress and Your Overall Wellness
Worries about finances are the number -one stressor across all age groups. Moreover, stress resulting from financial challenges is often chronic and there is hardly anything as threatening to health as chronic stress.
Back in 2019, a survey showed that more than half of Americans lose sleep over money troubles. In fact, money issues are the biggest cause of sleep loss. COVID-19 only made matters worse in 2020 as uncertainty became the new normal.
High levels of financial stress manifest through physical symptoms like sleep loss, anxiety, headaches and migraines, weakened immune systems, digestive issues, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia (muscle tension), heart arrhythmia and depression. All of these disturbances pull a person into a vicious circle that comes with even more serious long-term problems as individuals with high financial stress are twice as likely to report poor health and are four times more likely to complain of ailments, according to Forbes.
Financial stress is a very unique and difficult type of stress as it leads to individuals adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms. Those behaviors lead to even more money-related stress and negative effects on the body and mind.
Leading Causes of Financial Issues and How To Fix Them
It’s just like going to a doctor when you don’t feel well. You need to diagnose the problem in order to get it fixed.
Poor money management skills
The educational system fails us in this regard. Money issues can seem too complex and intimidating but a little financial education such as reading a course or attending a course on budgeting and investing can go a long way.
Lack of discipline
Just like you need to learn to create a budget, it’s just as important to stick to it for it to work. If you don’t discipline yourself into putting aside money each month to your emergency fund, you will have to turn to debt when an unexpected expense occurs. If you cannot commit to saving money, you won’t be able to buy your dream house or enjoy retirement.
Sometimes our biggest enemy is the one in between our ears that cause us to behave in ways that harm our well-being. Emotional attachments, ego, addictions and lack of objectivity can influence us to make wrong financial decisions. Having a healthy mindset is vital to our overall wellbeing and financial health is no exception.
3. Simple Money-Saving Tips
Whether you live salary to salary or are just building wealth, you can always benefit from saving more money.
Re-asses your budget from time to time
Each month, your budget will be different so you need to identify areas where you could save money. Is there a more affordable West Penn utility or internet provider out there? Ask your current providers for discounts?
Look for free entertainment
There are plenty of ways to have fun for free. Challenge yourself to see how much fun you can have without spending any money by taking a YouTube yoga class, gardening or playing board games. Get creative!
Try to do everything yourself
Before picking up the phone and calling a handyman, google what you need done and try doing it yourself.
Since mental and physical health directly benefit from having healthy finances, taking action to improve our financial well-being means completing three actions in one. Remember, even small changes can make a big difference as long as long as you make the effort in a consistent manner.