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By Aishwarya Nair

How financial mismanagement can affect your mental health:

Mental health and money are connected. A Disturbed mind may not allow you to Concentrate on work or professional life which makes it Harder in earning and managing money. A debt can trigger or Worsen conditions such as anxiety, depression, or even stress. Mismanagement of money can severely affect one’s mental health; thinking about finances often ends up with Sleepless nights which can set you up for serious mental health issues. We must approach this topic logically and more rationally.

You may associate ‘treating yourself’ with getting pampered at a spa, going on a spending spree, attending a sporting event or concert, or taking an exotic trip. But you don’t need to break the bank to feel better. Instead, you can get the positive psychological benefits of treating yourself by simply acknowledging that you deserve something special, managing your spending habits and learning about healthy vs. unhealthy ways of splurging can be important points to consider.

Sometimes friends can add a little financial peer pressure that can become a dampener on the achievement of your goals; you may even be putting that pressure on yourself without realizing it. When your friends make a plan to go out shopping and invite you, it can be tough for you to tell them a no, because you would want to be included. However, when you say yes to every plan like shopping, road trip, expensive restaurant in the evening, or other splurges, it can make a big hole in your pocket. Keep in mind that it is easy assuming you will only spend a certain amount, but once you are out with your friends, it takes Discipline in saying no to extra spending.

Mental health can affect the way you deal with money:

If you’re feeling low or depressed, you may lack the motivation to manage your finances. It might not feel worth trying. Spending may give you a brief high, so you might overspend to feel better. You might make impulsive financial decisions when you’re experiencing changes in moods. If your mental health affects your ability during work or study, it may reduce your income as well as your productivity. Also having a pre-existing mental health condition might affect your insurance, so you end up paying more.

Feelings associated with money:

Thinking about money can be emotional, you might feel guilty for spending money even if you know you can afford it. Or, you might feel guilty for seeking support, even if you know you need it. You might feel ashamed for needing support. You must remember that everyone has the right to feel good, and the right to Essentials like food and housing. Getting financial support is a good way of making sure you have the things you need. You might feel tired or worn down, especially if you’ve been struggling with money problems for a long time. If you’ve experienced financial abuse in the past, this might affect how you feel about money now. Getting to know the emotions you have around money might help you spot patterns in your behavior and feel more in control.

Get to know your money and fashion patterns:

You might find it helpful to take some time and think about how you feel about money. For example, if you’ve struggled with money in the past or didn’t have much money growing up, this might affect the way you feel about money now. You could try answering these questions: Are there certain times when you’re more likely to spend money? Are there certain times when you’re more likely to save money? How does it feel when you spend money? Do you feel differently when you’re spending and saving? What are your emotions when you think about money? Which aspects of dealing with money make your mental health worse?

Overspending when you’re unwell:

When you’re unwell, you might spend more money than you want or more than you can afford. Similarly, if you experience mood changes, you might spend more money or make impulsive financial decisions. Some people describe this as feeling like a temporary high. There are psychological reasons for overspending. Sadness is often associated with feeling helpless and not being in control of what is happening around you. Simply engaging in shopping-related choices, such as Purchasing or rejecting an item, positively impact the psyche. The downside is that a buyer’s mental state can blind them to price. One study published in Psychological Science found that people feeling sad was willing to pay 30 per cent or more for a product. Staying aware of your behavior can help you examine the impact that specific emotions have on your financial decisions.

Here are some tips that might stop you from overspending:

  • Writing down everything in a spending Diary can help you keep a record of where exactly your money is going.
  • Tell someone you trust about the warning signs you might be overspending or signs you’re struggling with your mental health.
  • Give your cards to someone you trust or put them somewhere difficult in accessing.
  • Don’t save your card details on websites.
  • Delete apps where you usually overspend, or apps that encourage you to spend.
  • If you get tempted by adverts on social media, limit how much time you spend on them.
  • Find ways to delay Purchasing. You could tell yourself, “I’ll buy this Tomorrow if I still feel like it then.”
  • Consider telling your bank that you have a habit of overspending. They may be able to add a note on your profile and alert on unusual spending.
  • Some people find it helpful in avoiding credit cards completely.

There is a good rule of thumb when it comes to the so-called ‘save-spend-splurge’ cycle. Simply track and divide your expenses into needs, wants, savings, or debt. Allocate 50 per cent of your income to rent, bills and Groceries, 30 per cent for more frivolous items like dining out, etc, while the remaining 20 per cent for your savings or debt. The 50-30-20 practice is a simple way to see where your money is going.

Splurge with intention. You can’t buy everything, but you can splurge Occasionally. Remember that it is always possible in learning how to treat yourself responsibly. Just like a healthy diet allows for the occasional cheat day, taking a break from your routine and treating yourself can give you a renewed sense of purpose. Financial mismanagement always has a direct effect on mental health so to cope with it some financial goals can be of help.

Aishwarya Nair, Counseling Psychologist, Medall Mind

*DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be liable for any damage caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly.

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