Why Are You In Your Feelings About Your Finances?
Finances are one of the least neutral topics you could discuss. Yet alone discussing your own finances with yourself. That usually leads to you feeling some kinda way about your financial situation. This is partially caused by a number of myths about financial wellness that need to be busted.
Virtually everyone is worried about or thinking about retirement. Whether you’re one of the people worried about Social Security’s ability to stay secure or part of the FIRE movement (Financially Independent/Retire Early). Planning for retirement can be stressful no matter how adult you are.
Never mind the future, what about your finances right now? So many of us identify as the “working poor”. The high cost of living in many urban areas of the U.S. along with huge pay gaps for minority populations leaves many of us climbing what seems to be an impossible financial mountain.
Student loans on top of credit card bills, car payments and mortgages. Yikes, this is some scary adulting stuff!
According to many personal finance experts and content creators, your finances don’t have to be scary. Here’s your chance to learn tangible solutions you can implement today to feel better about your financial wellness.
How Finances Affect Your Relationships
Your personal finances affect many of your relationships. Relationships with your family, intimate partners, and event friends can be influenced by your financial situation.
First, you learn financial skills from your family. How much to spend, save, or make is greatly influenced by how money was managed during your formative years. As an adult, there are also sometimes pressures to contribute to the family with money once you’ve “come up”. Money can cause strife between family members or it can also be a blessing if you’re in need and a family member can help you financially.
When you are looking for a significant other, communicating about finances is a must before you can get serious. As you begin to blend households and lives together, it’s important to talk about finances and understand how you will work together to pay for your lifestyle.
Here are a few facts about couples and money:
- Nearly two-thirds of all marriages start off in debt.
- One-third of people who say they argued with their spouse about money say they hid a purchase from their spouse because they knew their partner would not approve.
Beyond your family and partner, your financial situation can impact your social wellness too. Not having disposable income to enjoy life with friends through shared experience can be limiting. It’s also taboo to talk about finances with friends.
Myth #1: We Shouldn’t Be Discussing Money
It’s rare that you discuss how much you make compared to your friends. It’s also rare to discuss financial problems with friends or acquaintances. We’ve had it drilled into us, it’s not polite to talk about money in a social setting.
Myth #1 Busted:
Many personal finance content creators and experts do talk about money in social settings. And they make it’s so interesting! Personal finance content creators talking about things like revenue made through side hustles or blogging, their retirement goals, their net worth, and how much debt they are working to pay off.
Why are the people with no debt and the people paying off massive debt excited about talking money t each other? Because they feel good about their finances, no matter where they are in the journey.
Finances Causing Anxiety?
Are personal finances causing us to become anxious about life? Many people experience anxiety when bills are due or when they have an unexpected expense. Some may experience anxiety when asked questions about their personal finance. For example, when purchasing a car and the dealer runs your credit.
Even for someone like me who has worked hard at maintaining a high credit score, the thought of someone running my credit is still anxiety provoking.
According to Money Ruining Marriages in America here are some interesting facts about how their sample married couples responded emotionally to their personal finances:
- Sixty-three percent of those with $50,000 or more in debt feel anxious about talking about their personal finances.
- Over half (54%) of couples married five years or less say some of their wedding expenses were covered with a credit card—and 73% of those couples say they regret that decision.
Many of the personal finance blogs and podcasts I’ve listened to maintain that your anxiety can be reduced by developing a system to address your debt, save, and invest.
Myth #2: You Shouldn’t Invest if You Can’t Save
I’ve heard people tell me they have a hard enough time saving and paying off debt, why would they invest their money and potentially lose it?
I like many people find it hard enough to save money regularly for emergencies, vacation, and long term savings while paying off debt.
I’ve asked several experts if they recommend not investing if you are barely able to save?
Myth #2 Busted:
Overwhelmingly, I’ve been told no. You should be doing both and develop a budget to help you do so.
I usually follow up with the question “how?!”
The responses I receive are usually very encouraging and explain that the return on your money that you are losing by saving and not investing is hurting your overall financial wellness.
I have yet to start investing. However, to reduce my anxiety about money, I’ve made it a goal to re-do my monthly budget, learn more about investing, and automating my savings.
Depression Caused by Your Finances?
Feeling like you don’t have enough money for the basic needs of your family is a horrible feeling. People who struggle with debt are two times more likely to experience depression according to a University of Nottingham study cited on Debt.org.
Your mental health will suffer if your financial wellness is suffering. The two are undeniably related and interdependent. Of course, more money doesn’t necessarily equal more problems or more happiness.
Depression and hopelessness resulting from financial challenges, unexpected expenses, or straight up poverty is real. People often don’t talk about these issues openly as the source of their depression or may not even talk about their depression itself.
Myth: There’s No Way to Avoid Depression About Money
Many people can suffer poor mental health outcomes as a result of their feelings about finance. It can sometimes feel overwhelming and like there is no way to avoid negative feelings about your financial situation.
Myth #3 Busted:
The more content I read about personal finances, the more I see a trend across multiple authors. Many maintain that you control how you feel about your finances. If you have control of your financial situation and feel more confident, you will feel mentally better.
I don’t have a study or data to prove this, but it does make logical sense. If you feel in control of your financial situation, you would be less likely to feel hopeless or depressed.
Take Control of Your Financial Life
What can you do to take control of your financial situation and start to feel better? Here the content is fairly consistent with the advice and I’m still digging into all the aspects of these recommendations in order to better understand how each works.
Taking Tangible Actions:
Top things you can do to get control of your finances from the experts:
- Pay off debt
- Feel more positively about your finances
- Look for places to saving money
- Travel hacks
- Points hacks
- Choose the right accounts
- Side hustle if needed
Obviously, being a social worker who has dabbled in managing millions of tax dollars, I’m in no way qualified to tell you about all these aspects of personal finance. So I’ve enlisted some help from folks who do have expertise in this area!
Financial Wellness Week
I came up with the idea for financial wellness week when I was at FinCon and met so many amazing people who know a lot more about financial wellness than I do. I made it my mission to network with as many people as possible to find the best resources to share about personal finance.
The goal of financial wellness week is to inspire you to take tangible steps towards improving your financial wellness. I often avoid these tasks but they need to get done so I, like most people, need to set aside more time to work on my financial wellness.
Here’s what you can expect to read about for the next week on WellnessGrind.com.
- Get Control of Your Financial Wellbeing with Kassandra Dasent
- 5 Tips You Need to Feel Better About Student Debt Stress by Kimberly Hamilton
- Avoid Debt and Regret This Holiday Season by Melanie Munson
- Hack Your Rental Life with Justin Pogue
- Build Generational Wealth Through Investing with Dr. Hans Boetang
Hope you enjoy all new financial wellness content and follow some of these financial wellness experts for more content to help you on your journey!