#1 Issue often overlooked in Personal Finance - Mental Health.
Updated: Jun 19, 2020
It's one of the most important goals we need to strive to achieve in personal finance, reducing stress and improving mental health.
By: Allan R Kirby
There is no question that our emotional, psychological, and social well-being is tied to our Financial Health. Whether we like it or not, it is just a reality. Surprisingly, I find that mental health is often overlooked by many financial experts when providing advice. They miss the fact that the emotional and psychological stresses, which people face with their finances, are likely the very reason they are seeking help in the first place. In fact, some advice may provide good eye catching headlines, but does little to help people with their situation. Additionally, as I had mentioned before, having people give up a few discretionary luxuries such as buying coffee in order to achieve financial wellness, which is a bit of a stretch, may in fact run counterproductive and lead to failure. Simple advice is great, however, personal financial issues can at times be very complex and require time, patience and a lot of guidance to resolve. This is why the best solution is to take a more measured approach that entails seeking advice with a money coach or talking with someone at a community bank or credit union. At the minimum, you can sit down with these experts and have them lead you in the right direction and find ways to alleviate your anxiety and stress level.
“Stress comes in many different forms with people but I have found three principle stresses that individuals may have: Unexpected Expenses, Budgeting and Retirement planning."
DIY and Personal Finance
For DIY personal finance people, the good news is there an abundance of information. However be careful, there can be information overload which may create its own stressors, such as finding conflicting advice and then trying to figure out which advice path is the best. I took the DIY route when I decided to find my own path to achieve my financial goals and also reduce stress. It was not quick, it was in fact a long three year journey. I made many mistakes along the way before I was able to get myself at a decent level of confidence. It was stressful, confusing at times and made me aware of the limitations some advice can provide.
“Personal finance advice can be is simple to read but sometimes it can be hard to implement".
The point is that there is no quick solution, no magic pill, bad things will happen to even the best savers. We just never know, so you can only do so much when you’re doing all the finances yourself. My experience opened my eyes and I can now say with confidence that it was a little tougher than I thought when I first started out. I would only suggest that you look at a money coach to help you get started if you’re unsure where to start. I think that a money coach would have sped up the process for myself, but if your tough, ready and willing to take the time and have patience, DIY may be the route to take to help you mentally as well as financially.
“Find a solution that works for you, it is very important that you feel comfortable with the path your taking, even if it runs counter what some experts say".
Whether you seek advice or decide to be a DIY in personal finance, you need to ensure you find a path that will lead you to an improved emotional, psychological, and social well-being with your mental health and finances. Seeking help is a good starting point but if you feel you have the time and patience and are also willing to make a few mistakes along the way, you can try it on your own. Keep in mind you cannot sweep money issues under the carpet. At some point in time, you will need to confront your finances if the stress become too difficult to handle. Remember that financial stress not only affects your mental health but the health of the people around you as well as your job. In my opinion, mental health and finances represent the number #1 issue in personal finance that is not often talked about, but it should be.
This is a MySmallBank.com blog written by Allan Kirby, who writes and produces Personal Finance articles and videos.