Money might seem like an odd topic to write about on a blog centered around mental health, but financial stress can open the door for subsequent mental health issues. Whether we want to admit it or not, money is a huge part of our society and it dictates many of our major life decisions. A lack of money can place stress on all of our personal relationships. It might cause tensions and conflict within a partnership, or it may cause stress between family members, especially if one person has borrowed money to another. It can also make parenting extremely tricky. While the old adage is true, money can’t buy happiness, (just take a look at Hollywood to see the truth in that statement) it can make our life more comfortable.
It seems that more often than not we are the cause of our money troubles. In today’s age of keeping up with the Joneses, many people find themselves spending more than what they can afford. While I am not a financial counsellor, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to your paycheque.
- Spend what you have. While this should be common sense, it is not. Use cash or debit and resist putting purchases on credit card.
- Keep a money diary. Five bucks here, ten there. Before you know it your paycheque is gone. Be accountable for every dollar you spend and you can find out if your coffee habit is eating away your funds.
- Talk about money. Sometimes it feels taboo to talk about money, even within a partnership. However, secrecy is where we run into trouble. Keep an open line of communication with anyone in your life who you share financial decisions with.
- Don’t be impulsive. When it comes to big ticket items (house, car, furniture) make sure you can afford the payments. Calculate the monthly costs and even practice setting aside that money for a couple of months to see what it would be live to live without it.
- Have savings. Many people are only a furnace breakdown away from financial trouble. Keep money set aside for emergencies so you don’t have to take money from your everyday fund. Even if you can only put $10 away per paycheque, it is a start.