October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and the 2022 World Mental Health Day theme is “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority.”
Finances are a huge stressor for many. If you want to prioritize mental health, alleviating some of the anxiety surrounding money management is an excellent place to start. 42% of U.S. adults say money is negatively impacting their mental health, according to a recent survey from Bankrate and Psych Central.
The survey polled 2,457 adults about how finances affect their mental state. Feeling stressed is the top response to finances, according to 70% of survey respondents. Other emotions people associate with money include worry, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, and insecurity.
These are the money-related activities that triggered negative feelings, from most to least common: Looking at their bank accounts (49%); paying a bill (41%); making a purchase (34%); having to discuss money (32%); getting paid (21%); looking at their investment accounts (16%); looking at social media (11%);
These groups are most affected by money-related stress.
At 48%, millennials between the ages of 26 and 41 had the most financial stress of any age group. “That’s when we first have children, are starting, or are insecure around our jobs because we haven’t done it long enough.”
We haven’t built up savings,” says T.J. Williams, a regional president and financial advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group, an independent wealth management firm. “Those are normal experiences we’ve had for generations, but society has put a different spin on them.” Social media’s put a lot of pressure on that’s undue.”
Gen X, ages 42 to 57, doesn’t lag far behind at 46%, and 40% of those aged 18 to 25 in Gen Z say money problems cause mental health concerns for them, too. Women are more likely than men to say that money has a big effect on their mental health (46 percent of women vs. 38 percent of men).
When money is taken into account, people with low incomes have more emotional stress than people with higher incomes. Just 30% of people who make at least $100,000 annually say money negatively affects their mental health, compared to 48% of earners making less than $50,000 a year.
Three ways to feel financially secure: 1. Maintain positive mental health.
Williams suggests taking these three steps to feel better about your money: Save up some money. Save enough money so that you can handle whatever life throws at you. Have a written or spoken plan for getting out of debt, and make sure it can be done.
Check your M.U.G. once a month or once a week and think about how much money you’ll need for your mortgage (or rent), utilities, and food. For some, you may also need to think about insurance and gasoline costs.
Williams says that this step-by-step plan can make it so you don’t have to check your bank account as often during the week. He says that you should only check on your finances once a week to keep an eye out for fraud.
He also says that you might want to think about getting a partner with whom you can talk about your financial goals. Williams says that this person should not judge and should be helpful. Williams also says to keep in mind that not everything you see on social media is what it seems to be.
He says that comparing your financial situation to others’ because they post pictures of themselves traveling or buying a new car will only make you feel bad.
Williams says, “Their money could have been different from the beginning.” “Also, you don’t know if they’re spending more than they can afford. A lot of that stuff is just for show.”
“Give yourself grace,” says Williams, “above all else.” He says that money problems are normal, especially when you are just starting to handle your own money.
“When planning and making a budget, you can’t take everything into account. Life happens, “he says. “There are some things we can’t change, and we have to be okay with that.”