Worrying about your money can have a negative impact on your mental health, just as mental health can have an impact on our ability to work and earn money. A vicious circle you could say.
Money can be a worrying subject alone, but when you throw a pandemic into the mix, one that has had a significant impact on income for both the employed and self employed, it makes an already difficult situation worse. We previously shared some money saving tips, featuring apps, techniques and even activities to help save the pennies. In this post, we have shared some more techniques to save and manage your money, how to take care of yourself with money worries, and helpful sources for further advice.
MAKE A BUDGET
Making a budget is the first step to managing your money. How you do this is completely up to you, but I personally prefer to calculate my expenses such as bills, rent, car insurance, etc, put that money aside, and divide the rest of my money by the weeks left until I get paid (week budget). This money is then used for food and any extra expenses (and fun of course), and then any money left over after the week is over is put into my savings account!
BUDGET FOR ONE-OFF EXPENSES
One-off expenses include things such as Christmas, birthdays and other holidays. I’ll never forget the year that I spent all of my left over money on junk, and couldn’t afford to buy my mother a birthday present. Although she was okay with it, it was hard to explain that I couldn’t afford one because of my reckless spending. After that, I began putting money aside each month into a special savings account for birthdays and holidays. It could be anything as small as £5 a month, but I haven’t struggled to treat my loved ones since.
Confession time… how many times have you gone shopping, tapped your card in multiple shops, and spent more than you intended? I know I have… a lot. So much that when I have to place my card into the machine, I have to stop and think what my pin code actually is! I don’t use this method a lot, only in situations where there is a chance I will be spending quite a bit (such as nights out and shopping trips with friends.) I now calculate and set myself a budget, take cash out, and leave my card at home. It also helps that I haven’t set up Apple Pay or any other service that allows me to pay from my phone. I still manage to have fun, but don’t worry about going over budget.
Keep seeing your friends, keep your CV up to date, and try to keep paying the bills. If you have more time because you’re not at work, do some form of exercise – physical activity can improve your mood if you’re feeling low.
FACE YOUR FEARS
For example, if you’re going into debt, get advice on how to prioritise your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. Some people can lose their confidence about driving or travelling. If this starts to happen, facing these situations will generally make them easier.
DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL
For some people with money worries, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with your emotions or just to fill in time. But alcohol will not help you deal with your problems and could add to your stress.
KEEP UP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Get up at your normal time and stick to your usual routine. If you lose your routine, it can affect your eating – you may stop cooking, miss breakfast because you’re still in bed, or eat snacks instead of having proper meals.
Citizens Advice is a good place to get information about benefits, how to deal with debt, what you’re entitled to if you’re made redundant and who to speak to if you’re at risk of losing your home.
GOV.UK has information about:
Finding a new job
The finding a job section of GOV.UK provides lots of advice for people looking for work, including tips on writing a CV, planning your job hunt and applying for jobs online.
Coping with debt
Citizens Advice offers help with debt.
Other organisations offering helpful advice online include:
- Money Advice Service, or call 0800 138 7777 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
- National Debtline, or call 0808 808 4000 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm
- StepChange Debt Charity, or call 0800 138 1111 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Mental health and money
The charity Mind has a money and mental health section on its website, which includes advice on how to manage debt.
Mental Health & Money Advice offers information and advice for anyone struggling with money because of mental illness, or whose financial situation is affecting their mental health.