Five Budgeting Tips To Ease Your Mental Health

Many things affect our mental health, but most commonly, particularly during a cost of living crisis, it’s our finances. In fact almost 60% of people who do suffer from some sort of mental health problem say thinking about money makes them anxious.

Such worries can really spiral out of control, with the likes of depression and even addiction often developing as a result of financial stress, with many people in rehab for alcoholics pinpointing the route of the problem down to stresses related to money.

Therefore it’s important to be sensible with finances and have a plan in place to ease the stress as much as possible. Naturally, that isn’t easy but there are some top tips to help you budget and ease the impact finances have on your mental health…

Create a Realistic Budget

One of the things people make the mistake of doing is not being realistic enough with their budget. It can be incredibly difficult to stick to a stringent budget with things often creeping in that we have to pay for.

However, it is important to start with a detailed budget that highlights your income and expenses accurately. List all your sources of income, as well as essential expenses such as mortgage or rent payments, utilities, groceries, transport costs and any debt repayments or other bills.

From there you can begin to allocate portions for saving as well as disposable income available. Here it’s important to be honest and realistic, as well as prioritising your financial commitments.

Look to do this on a monthly basis, or however frequently you receive a paycheck in order to maintain your budget and stay on track.

Track Your Spending

Keeping track of your spending can also be a useful thing to do as it will allow you to track spending patterns and pinpoint areas where you could cut back, and areas you do need to commit money to.

For example, going back to alcohol, you may find that you are spending more on alcohol as a result of stress, but also as a result the likes of taxis and takeaway spending can also increase, which is where finances can start to get out of hand.

Using budgeting apps or spreadsheets can help with accountability for this and help you stay organised and informed, which in turn can increase confidence and reduce those stress levels as a result.

Build an Emergency Fund

One of the biggest stresses that can occur due to finances is when emergencies arise unexpectedly. If possible, look to build an emergency fund that could cover these financial emergencies.

This can act as a safety net during more challenging times and alleviate worries, particularly if employment or income is a little more uncertain. Knowing you have that financial buffer can create peace of mind moving forward.

Prioritise Debt Repayment

Prioritising certain parts of your finances is also an important step, particularly debt repayments. Debt is one of the main sources of financial stress, so tackling those systematically can help remove that mental burden.

Start by paying off high-interest debts first, as well as making the minimum payment on other accounts, while you may also wish to establish more manageable repayment plans from creditors to start to alleviate those concerns.

Practice Self-Care

Finally, prioritising self-care is an integral part of a budgeting journey and helps promote relaxation and mental wellbeing.

You don’t have to spend money to do this, it could be practising the likes of yoga and meditation, or getting out walking in nature. Make the most of social connections, speak to friends and family, and make sure that you take the steps to look after your mental health. After all, this is just as important as managing your finances.

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