Five things you should know about your mental health and money
Mental health and finances – two things we should always be taking care of. But it can be struggle toÂ look after them bothÂ at the same time. If your relationship with money is affecting your mental health, here are five things you should know.
1.â âYouâ âareâ ânotâ âaloneââ
âAccordingâ âtoâ âtheâ âMoneyâ âAdviceâ âService,â âat any one time 2.7 million people in the UK are struggling with both mental health and debt problems. Thisâ âisâ âaâ âbigâ âproblem.â âIfâ âitâsâ ânotâ âaffectingâ âyou,â âchancesâ âareâ âitâs affectingâ âsomeoneâ âyouâ âknow.
Itâsâ âsoâ âimportantâ âthatâ âlastâ âyearâ âMartinâ âLewis,â âtheâ âfounderâ âofâ âMoneysavingexpert.com, founded theâ Mââoneyâ âand Mentalâ âHealthâ âPolicyâ âInstituteââ âtoâ âtryâ âtoâ âshedâ âsomeâ âlightâ âonâ âtheâ âsituation.â âHe says that the link between mental health and money is a “marriage made in hell” and that while many people think they are the only ones experiencing problems, in reality “it’s so common it’s ordinary.”
Â 2.â ââMentalâ âhealthâ âissuesâ âcanâ âtriggerâ âmoneyâ âproblemsâ
âIfâ âyouâ âhaveâ âmentalâ âhealthâ âissues,â âyou mayâ âfindâ âitâ âharderâ âtoâ âgetâ âorâ âkeepâ âaâ âjob,â âand to manage your finances. And the opposite is also true â money problems can trigger mental health issues. The stress and anxiety caused by juggling debts can lead to depression.â âIfâ âyouâreâ ânotâ âsureâ âwhetherâ âyou are being affected, try taking this short onlineâ NHSâ âtestâ.
3. The modern world doesn’t make it easy for us
Online shopping means we can get our hands on whatever we want at any time of the day or night, with just a tap of the screen. It’s easy to get into a cycle of feeling bad, spending the money we don’t have to cheer ourselves up and then feeling worse as a result. It’s also easy to feel under pressure to spend money just because our friends are doing so.
4. There areÂ things you can do toÂ improve the situation
Fixing finances won’t instantly fix related mental health issues, but it will take away a source of anxiety and a potential trigger for problems.
The first step is to draw up a budget, to understand what you are spending and where you can cut back. There are lots of great budgeting apps like Squirrel which help you keep a close eye on where your money is going.
If you need help in tackling your online spending, the these suggestions here from the Moneyâ âandâ âMentalâ âHealthâ âPolicyâ âInstitute can block you from spending at certain sites or at certain times â or even just make you pause between deciding you want something and buying it, so you can sleep on it and make sure it’s the right decision. Hereâs how you can avoid making purchases youâll later regret.
5. We need to help each other
If youâre worried that a friend or family member is struggling with money and mental health issues, donât just ignore the situation. Talk with them, offer your help, and let them know you understand what theyâre going through. Take a look at our advice for having difficult conversations about money.Â
There are lots of people who will give free advice to help you get back on track:
Don’t suffer in silence â speak up and start addressing the problem. Letâs tackle this together!
- Go to Money Advice Service for free and impartial money advice.