Anxiety and how money affects your mental health

I did an earlier blog post on finance and your mental health (link here ). This latest article comes via Elle UK (link here) it reinforces some of the concepts I discussed but more importantly it delves directly into the issue of degree’s.

Degrees of anxiety is important, and many of us with low to moderate anxiety suffer from binge eating and spending. There are a few very important quotes from the Elle article, let’s start with this one:

“Managing our money correctly takes concentration, will power, forward-planning and control. Even when we’re mentally thriving it can still be hard to budget for food correctly or to say no to a hen-do we can’t afford.”

Creating a budget and being disciplined is critical to not only long term financial success but mental health. If you can create a budget and stick to it you are exhibiting all the hallmarks of mental discipline. This doesn’t mean you are anxiety free but it means you are functioning with anxiety. This is a tremendous win for you personally. Managing your income is critical, if you can achieve this many positive things happen. Remember there are 4 things you can do with money : Earn it, Save it, Spend it, or give it away

Instagram, face book your friends, family they all have things. Material possessions can lead to envy. Quick example, my buddy Shane has a corvette. He worked hard, he earned it and it’s a really nice car. I want one, but at this point in my life while I can afford it, it’s not a good fit for me. Something similar may be in your life, it’s when this envy turns to anxiety or worse depression.

This can lead to obsession with money or possessions which can lead to becoming a workaholic or in severe debt. These are all products of anxiety, if you think about it logically who would want to spend themselves into a situation where they may be harmed via bankruptcy or working 10-12 hours a day?

This can also lead to manic spending which is a symptom of Bi Polar disorder. Take a look in your closet do you have clothes in there you never wear? Are there clothes in there you bought on a spree? Take a moment and reflect, was this done during a high stress period in your life? Was it around the holidays and perhaps you missed you family? Manic spending and materialism can be a bi product of anxiety.

How do you deal with it? I have a couple of techniques you can employ to help you with anxiety spending.

1. Avoid debt spending. If you can’t take the money out of a bank to cover the cost of the item you want, don’t buy it.

2. Save for the item you want. So buying the item straight away is often an impulse buy. When you stash 50 bucks away a week for an item it becomes a planned purchase, and it puts off the impulse.

3. Is this item needed for you to survive or is it a want? Now this question may seem silly but think about it, do you need a Kashmir sweater in the summer?

4. Have I paid for everything else I need to. Did you pay rent? did you make your car payment? Did you pay your electric? Make a list of items that are essential and make sure these are paid for first.

Financial independence is a dream of many people, few of us get there. That doesn’t mean you can’t have things you want in addition to things you need. The key is honesty with yourself. It’s okay to splurge and buy yourself something nice, but when it begins to move into the realm of unnecessary spending you are running the risk of long term financial problems. This will perpetuate your anxiety and make depression a real possibility.

Make a budget and stick to it. Afford yourself some “fun” money but stay on course with the budget. Companies don’t care (for the most part) if you have anxiety or not, they just want to sell and make money, that’s their job. Your job is to take care of yourself and being financially healthy will help immensely with your anxiety.

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