At ClearScore, we know that a major part of managing your money is looking at the emotional impact it could have on you and your mental health. That’s why, in this article, we’ll cover some tips that should help when attempting to maintain your finances while ensuring your mental wellbeing doesn’t suffer.
Talk to someone
The old motto of “a problem shared is a problem halved” is as true today as it’s always been, especially when it comes to talking about money. By telling someone you trust about any challenges around managing finances has two benefits - first, you’re letting this person understand that this is a challenge that you’re currently facing, and secondly, you’re beginning to come to terms with the idea that there might be a problem here. Talking it over helps you to think about the next steps you can take to start feeling in control of your finances again, potentially taking a massive weight off . In fact, it might even lead you to begin to formulate a plan.
Stick to your daily routine
If you feel that any issues you have with looking after your money has become the elephant in the room, it’s going to feel overwhelming and intimidating. It could even affect your ability to operate on a daily basis. However hard it feels, it’s really important that you stick to your daily routine as much as you can, so whether it’s your morning run, or seeing friends every Wednesday, keep doing it. A run you did before might be a walk around the block, or seeing a number friends might turn into seeing one friend. You can alternate the plan – just don’t stop. When we feel overwhelmed with money concerns, it can have the ability to stop you in your tracks - where possible, don’t let it. Keep going.
Keep on track with treating yourself to purchases
Although excessive spending doesn’t mean you’re in debt, if you don’t manage your money (especially at peak times, such as Christmas), it could lead to it. In fact, there may be cases where people may spend in order to feel better about themselves, using shopping for things they don’t need as a coping mechanism. If this sounds familiar, it might be better to try and talk to someone about it before your spending becomes uncontrollable. Some of the more practical things you could do is stop saving your credit card details online, so it becomes harder to make those impulse buys. This way, you’ll have to stop and think whether you actually need what you’re about to purchase. Maybe you could take the extreme method and decide to pay off your credit cards and get rid of them permanently.
Think about how you think about money
What’s the first thing you think about when you get paid? How about when you take money out of an ATM? Or when you see that ‘must have’ product which has just gone down to 50% in the sales? By having a clear understanding on your thought processes about money and how you spend it makes it more likely to avoid making financial decisions you might regret in the long term.
This might be a good time to reconsider going out into the great outdoors and clearing your mind. You don’t have to be an elite runner to enjoy a stroll in your local park. Think about leaving your smartphone at home and allow yourself to be present and experience your immediate surroundings with a walk. It might be difficult to take your mind away from any potential but the more you do it, the better you’ll feel.
Get professional advice
You might do all of the above and still feel that your challenges around money still feel like a huge burden that is never going to go away. It’s OK - that’s a normal feeling to have, especially if none of the above suggestions seem to work. If that’s the case, you might want to consider seeking out professional help and/or advice, which is less scarier than it initially sounds.
There are a number of resources that you could use to start getting the level of support you need:
Mind - The mental health charity that attempts to ensure no-one faces a mental health problem alone.
Stepchange - The UKs most comprehensive debt advice charity. They help people with money problems take back control of their finances
Citizens Advice Bureau - CAB will give you impartial advice on making the right financial choices.
Worrying about money can be a stressful experience, and with 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental illness at any one time in the UK, being in this financial situation could trigger feeling of anxiety, depression and many other feelings. But help is at hand, as we’ve shown. However, if you are in immediate need of assistance, you can contact the Samaritans for more information.