Money is a funny old thing. As we move towards a cashless society, it’s not always something physical, yet it holds a lot of weight when it comes to our emotions. It’s a tool to help us get to where we want to be in life, giving us meaningful experiences with the people we love. But, having money doesn’t mean happiness and managing money rarely ever comes easy.
Your financial health and how money affects your emotions are intrinsically linked. We’ll have all had times where our financial situation has prompted an emotional response. However, although you might be aware of it, it’s not always easy to process and deal with it.
How does money affect our emotions?
When it comes to money, the hardest thing to know is how much is enough. The balance you want to strike is saving enough money to have the experiences you want to have in life, being safe in the knowledge you can afford to do them, and not leaving it too late.
All too often, people spend too much or too little. Both of which can impact our financial health and wellbeing. Those who are more frugal may end up depriving themselves of meaningful experiences. Meanwhile, those who are more impulsive and live in the moment may be hindering their future lifestyle. Neither person is wrong, but both will carry money worries.
Throughout life, we make financial decisions that directly impact our financial health, which affects our emotions and future behaviour.
One of the most common behaviours when it comes to finances is avoidance. Often the thought of sitting down and facing the reality of your financial situation can cause anxiety. As you distract yourself, that level of anxiety drops. That temporary relief provides positive reinforcement of avoidance, and you’ll find yourself doing it time and time again.
However, if we face the anxiety and stay with it, confronting the issue may be painful or difficult, to begin with, but eventually, that feeling of distress starts to decline.
The hardest step to take is often the first, so by the time people have sought financial planning advice, they’ve done some of the hard work already. But there still may be more challenges and emotions along the way.
No one is completely rational about money. We may feel a range of emotions; guilt, envy, shame, fear. We may also experience over-excitement or impulsiveness. We all have a very complex relationship with it. But as with anything in life, it’s about how you manage it that’s crucial.
Managing your financial health
We previously shared our five top tips for managing your money worries, but here are five more tips that specifically aim to help to improve your financial health and the emotions that come with it.
Understand your relationship with money
The best way to help you understand your relationship with money is to analyse when you spend or save and why. Then think about how you felt before and afterwards? One way of doing this is to keep a log of what you’re spending and your mood when you do. Doing this will help you identify any patterns of behaviour.
Share your concerns
Learning to talk about money is essential, although it’s not always easy. If you have concerns about your finances, quick relief will come from sharing your thoughts with someone you trust, such as a friend, relative, health professional or financial adviser.
And if you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, it might help to talk to someone completely impartial. Here is a list of tips and contacts to help you cope with your financial health worries.
Organise your finances
It’s safe to say, we all feel better after a declutter. The best place to start is to put all your important documents in one place. Then get rid of unnecessary paperwork that we unnecessarily keep.
Regularly check your bank balance, incomings and outgoing, so you know where you stand and where you could make cuts if necessary.
If you have any outstanding debts, Step Change offer a free debt remedy personal action plan.
Prioritise your wellbeing
Taking good care of yourself plays a crucial part in dealing with money and the emotions that come with it. Things you can do to enhance your wellbeing include regular exercise, eating and drinking well, managing sleep issues or stress and generally investing time in yourself.
Speak to a professional financial planner
As we mentioned before, it’s always good to talk, and a conversation with a professional financial adviser will address some of your emotions surrounding money. Our advisers are professional listeners and take the strain off you by putting your financial plan into action. They’ll offer their expertise to help you understand what options you have to take care of your financial health and address your concerns and priorities.
The first consultation is always free and often proves incredibly worthwhile. But don’t just take our word for it, here is what our clients have said:
When I first met Beccy, I was immediately struck by the fact that her approach was far more holistic. Apart from providing really clear guidance on some specific financial products to use now, she was also able to advise on a far broader range of topics than I would have expected. Really stretching our thinking about our lifestyle now and in the future. – Simon
If you have any questions or want to discuss your financial plan, please feel free to get in touch with us and speak to one of our financial planners.