Financial stability has an active role in the mental health of a person and family. If money concerns are a factor in your life are you able to recognize how your mental health is affected? Do you see how your relationships are touched by the financial worries or challenges you and your family face? What is the relationship to finances you are instilling in your significant other and children?
Financial concern can show itself in many ways:
- Disrupts your ability to work (can't concentrate)
- Conflict with spouse/significant other on how to manage money
- Two financially separate adults attempting to maintain a combined relationship
- How and what to provide for children
- Keeping up with the Joneses (comparing your family to the neighbors)
- What your children need versus what your children want
- Anxiety related to making ends meet
- Physical symptoms (headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of sleep)
- Increase of questionable habits (nicotine, alcohol, substances)
- Loss of motivation
Although each person/family has a different set of financial circumstances, we can be proactive about our mental and financial health and stay ahead of potential money worries by following some general tips:
- Know how much money you have! Know your balance before you start spending. Make sure you always have enough money to cover the basic needs - like food and toiletries.
- Know how much you owe. Hiding your head under a rock won't make the bills go away. Stay ahead of your creditors. Pay what you can; and for those you can't, call and let your creditors know.
- Talk with someone about how finances are affecting your family. Be open about how decision making and choices are influencing the dynamic of your family.
- Find organizations that can give you advice. There are many places that can help you sort through finances. Take a breath, take the step, and find those options.
Finances play a part in overall mental health of an individual and family. Just like any challenge faced in life, if we face what is coming our way and find constructive solutions to address it, the task becomes less daunting versus avoiding it and hoping no one notices.