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Money and Your Mental Health

Money and Your Mental Health: 5 Ways To Improve Your Financial Wellness and Emotional Well-Being

When it comes to money, a lot of things are involved. It goes beyond just a means of exchange to deeply impact your life and shape your daily decisions.

To a large extent, the world revolves around money and whether that’s true to your experience or not, money undeniably plays a huge role in our lives and can also have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. 

According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, people with financial problems are significantly more likely to experience mental health problems. They also add that 46% of people in financial debt also have a mental health problem.

Consultant Neuro-psychiatrist, Jimoh Adejumo says that recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that one in every four Nigerians, an average of 50 million people suffer from mental illness. He further explains that the current economic hardship, coupled with the level of insecurity in the country could trigger a mental breakdown in more Nigerians.

‘So, how does money negatively affect my mental health?’ you may ask. In more ways than you may think! However, the good news is that this cycle can be broken.

In this blog post, we’ll explore five effective strategies to enhance your financial wellness and emotional well-being simultaneously.

Talk About It

According to step change,  it can be hard to talk about debt or your financial struggles. But sharing what you are going through can help you feel less alone. 

The most important thing you can do to reduce the impact of money on your mental health is to take action. Don’t ignore your money problems, hoping they’ll go away on their own because they won’t.

If your income isn’t covering you until the end of the month, your bills are getting out of hand, or you have no money coming in whatsoever, the best time to deal with it is NOW for your financial and mental well-being.

Don’t be ashamed or hesitate to talk to your loved ones, or therapists or seek professional help if needed. These professionals can provide expert guidance tailored to your unique circumstances, helping you make informed decisions and alleviate financial stressors that impact your mental health.

Create A Budget & Stick To It

Yes, we know this is easier said than done especially in a country like Nigeria where the cost of living is at an all-time high.

According to Nigerian Finder, the 5 most expensive states to live in Nigeria are Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, Imo and Cross River. While this may make budgeting a little harder to do, it is not entirely impossible.

The key to succeeding here is to create a realistic budget that allows you to track your income and expenses, identify areas for saving, and prioritize your spending. When creating your budget, allocate funds for essentials such as housing, food, and utilities, as well as for savings and discretionary spending. Sticking to your budget provides a sense of control over your finances, reducing stress and anxiety.

Building Your Emergency Savings

Financial emergencies can be a major cause of significant stress and anxiety if you are unprepared and this can affect your mental health. Establishing an emergency fund provides you with a safety net when you experience unexpected challenges like job loss or medical or other financial emergencies. 

It is advisable to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency funds account because knowing that you have a financial cushion can alleviate worry and promote peace of mind. However, only 36% of Nigerians have at least 3 months’ worth of emergency funds according to a recent study by Cowrywise.

With the Rosabon Earning Plan – REAP, you can now easily build your emergency funds and rest easy knowing that you are covered in any case of financial emergencies. 

Practice Mindful Spending

Mindful spending involves making intentional decisions about how you use your money, focusing on purchases that align with your values and priorities. 

The University of California affirms that mindful spending is a powerful tool to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. By becoming more aware of your spending habits, reducing stress and anxiety, and aligning your spending with your values and goals, you can empower yourself to manage your finances effectively and pave the way for a more stable and enriching future.

Before making any purchase, consider whether it brings you genuine joy or enhances your life in a meaningful way. Avoid impulsive buying and instead cultivate gratitude for what you already have. By being mindful of your spending habits, you can reduce financial stress and cultivate a healthier relationship with money.

Set Realistic Goals and Practice Self-Care

Stressing over your unachieved goals can lower your self-esteem and may trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety. 

To manage this, set very realistic financial goals and break them down into manageable steps. Celebrate your small victories along the way and should you experience any setbacks? Don’t beat yourself up too much, simply get back on track with your goals.

Prioritize self-care practices and stress management techniques to protect your emotional well-being. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress and cultivate healthy coping mechanisms to deal with financial challenges such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Remember that your mental and emotional health are invaluable assets that require nurturing and attention.

Achieving financial wellness isn’t just about numbers; it’s also about fostering a positive relationship with money and promoting emotional well-being. By implementing these five strategies you can improve your financial situation while enhancing your mental and emotional health. 

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