Mental health is a complicated thing that ebbs and flows with the seasons of life. Certain life stresses, such as finances, can impact your overall mental health considerably. For that reason it’s important to prioritize your finances not only for the obvious reasons, but because financial security provides you with a comfort that’s hard to achieve otherwise. If your finances have been in a bad way for a while it’s likely that you may be struggling with added stressors, or even depression. Here are some ways you can help your mental health by securing your finances:
1. Start Investing
The younger you are, the less you have to invest over the course of your life to reach a certain amount based on compounding interest and overall growth. So if you’re wondering when the best time to start investing, the simple answer is yesterday! You can start with a small amount and add to it monthly, or if you have enough to start with a lump sum amount, even better. Colorado Cap impact investing can offer some wonderful options for investing to suit every budget. Having someone help you manage the investment can help take the pressure off.
2. Make a Clear Budget
Having a clear budget is one of the best ways to take charge of your finances. If you don’t know how much you’re earning and spending, it can be extremely stressful. Track your spending for a month or two beforehand, so you can see what your baseline spending is, and then see where you can make changes to free up money. Tracking your spending in this way can give you a frightening wake up, as you’ll see where you’re maybe throwing away money each month. One thing I always spend too much money on, for example, is take away coffee. It’s a weakness of mine. But seeing it itemized really hit home how much I was spending and showed me that some of that money could be better spent elsewhere.
3. Pay Off Debt
Debt can drag you down, both financially and mentally. It’s like a dark cloud looming over you, especially if you’re struggling to keep on top of the minimum payments, and the debt seems to grow faster than you can pay it off. Making small changes in your budget to how much you can save, and sending as much of it towards debt as possible can help you get out of it sooner rather than later. There are a variety of debt paying methods that have become popular over the years, but I personally like Dave Ramsey’s approach to debt, where you pay off the smallest debt first, and then use that money you have left over to pay off the next smallest debt. Because you’re getting the debts paid faster than you humanly could with the larger debts, you’re getting that positive feedback, which helps give you momentum to keep going.
In a perfect world our mental health wouldn’t be tied to our finances, but that’s simply not the world we live in. Ensuring that your finances are secure, allows you to relax knowing that your bills and expenses are taken care of.