Examining the Correlation Between Mental & Financial Health
Approximately 20 percent of adults are impacted by mental illness.1 If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you may find financial health suffers as well. Why? Because there’s a direct correlation between mental wellness and financial wellness. In fact, a recent study found that individuals with depression and anxiety were three times more likely to be in debt.2 Here’s an explanation of how health and wealth can often go hand-in-hand.
Avoidance of Problems
Money is the second most common source of stress amongst adults.3 Therefore, it is understandable that dealing with bills, debt and budgeting is associated with an increase in stress. If you’re already feeling unwell, avoiding additional stress is understandable.
The problem is, avoiding your financial obligations won’t make them go away. And in many cases, it can actually make them worse. The temptation to push aside bill paying or phone calls to the credit card company might be strong, but tackling these tasks on time or right away can create long-term relief.
Feelings of Hopelessness
When your mental health is struggling, it can be hard to think long-term. If you feel as though you’re losing control of the things around you today, you might think what’s the point in trying to work toward future goals? Feelings of hopelessness can occur, and they can make long-term financial decision-making really tough.
Going hand-in-hand with loss of control is the urge to spend. When everything else seems to be spiraling, making a purchase can feel like something you actually have control over. The problem is, of course, this can lead to impulse buying - which can wreak havoc on your budget and result in increased debt. And with a lack of focus on facing your financial situation head-on, this could create a harmful cycle of spending more than you have while neglecting to address the accruing debt.
If your mental health is suffering, you’ll notice that your energy levels are probably decreasing as well. Fatigue, trouble sleeping and lack of focus can all be common symptoms of declining mental health or stress. With what energy you do have, it’s likely you don’t want to spend it on your financial obligations. But your financial wellbeing requires action and focus, especially if you are faced with a large amount of debt or have a substantial long-term savings goal.
Hard to Think Clearly
When you’re not feeling your best, making sound, rational decisions can be challenging. Your judgment may be clouded by how you’re feeling at the moment, meaning it’s tough to try to think about your future - especially your financial future.
It’s likely the events of the past year have challenged your mental health in some way. Know that it’s okay to not always be okay. If you’ve found that your financial wellness may be suffering as a result of your mental health, reach out to a fiduciary or trusted financial partner. They can support you in keeping your spending and saving on track today while encouraging healthy financial habits that can keep you moving in the right direction over the long-term.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Kelly Financial Planning. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.