The subject of money can be stressful. It depends on if you feel there is a lack of money or an abundance of it. A quote by Zig Zigler helps put the topic of money into prospective. “Money isn’t everything, but it is right up there with oxygen.” According to APA’s 2020 Stress in America survey, approximately 64% of Americans report feeling stressed about money. (American Psychology Association, 2020).
From the Glossary of terms on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website, financial well-being is, “The ability to meet all financial needs, today and over time; feel secure in the financial future; absorb a financial shock; and have the financial freedom to make choices to enjoy life.” We may avoid the subject of money and evaluating our financial situation, but poor financial health can affect you mentally and physically. Money concerns can lead to stress and anxiety, loss of sleep and illnesses. Money issues can put a strain on relationships and it is important to be able to discuss money concerns and work on solutions together. Below are a few key questions found on the Investopedia.com website to help you evaluate your financial health.
• How prepared are you for unexpected events? Do you have an emergency fund?
• What is your net worth? Is it positive or negative?
• Do you have the things you need in life? How about the things you want?
• What percent of your debt would you consider high interest, such as credit cards? Is it more than 50%?
• Are you actively saving for retirement? Do you feel you’re on track to meet your long-term goal?
• Do you have enough insurance coverage—whether it be health or life?
As stressful as it may be to take an honest look at debt vs income, it may only get worse if we don’t take the time to make changes. As the holidays approach, we have the added stress of spending money for gifts and holiday meals. Here are some tips from the article, Dealing with Financial Stress from the American Psychology Association website:
• Make one financial decision at a time.
• Track your spending.
• Identify your financial stressors and make a plan. Take stock of your financial situation and where money causes you stress. Write down ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your money more efficiently.
• Recognize how you deal with stress related to money. In tough economic times, some people are more likely to relieve stress by turning to unhealthy activities such as smoking, drinking, gambling or emotional eating. The strain can also lead to more conflict and arguments between partners. Be alert to these behaviors. If they are causing you trouble, consider seeking help from a psychologist or community mental health clinic before the problem gets worse.
• Avoid temptation. While it may not be possible to stay away from shopping malls and stores altogether, limiting your time there can help you manage spending. Choose an alternative social activity over shopping. Avoid opportunities for impulsive spending by leaving credit and debit cards at home and only carrying the amount of cash you can afford to spend.
• Remember what’s important.
Commercialism can overshadow the
true sentiment of the holiday season.
When your holiday expense list
outstrips your monthly budget, scale
back. Remind yourself that family,
friends and relationships matter
more than material objects.
• Ask for support. Research shows
that having a support system can
help you reach your goals. Surround
yourself with people you trust who
will support your financial goals and
want to help you succeed.
Financial health is important in one’s
overall wellbeing. Figuring out how to
improve your financial situation can
be overwhelming, but there are many
resources to help. If you are stressed
and don’t know where to turn, you
might seek outside assistance from a
professional counselor. Counselors at
Wholeness Healing can help you learn
how to reduce anxiety around money
and direct you to resources for your
American Psychological Association. (2020,
December 3).Dealing With financial stress.
https://www.brainyreaders.com/zig-ziglarsayings-quotes . Retrieved August 9, 2021.
August 9, 2021.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumertools/educator-tools/youth-financialeducation/glossary/. Retrieved August 9,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LATEST ARTICLES BY Misty Schaecher
Sign up to receive the latest mental health tips and inspiration