The benefits of getting your personal finances in order are generally pretty obvious. Since very few things in life are free, financial health means having the financial security to make important decisions both now and in the future. A strong credit score can lead to better lending rates, and a low debt-to-income ration leaves room in the budget for vacations and unexpected emergencies. More than just being able to enjoy nicer cars, homes, or the ability to splurge at the clothing store, positive financial health can have a strong impact on your physical health.
The Correlation Between Physical and Financial Health
Back in 2015, a survey conducted by one of the largest banks in the U.S. revealed that 81% of the study respondents found it easier to accomplish their personal goals when their finances were in good order. There were 70% of respondents that also stated a personal belief in the positive impact good financial health made with their overall physical health. Conversely, poor financial health is able to sabotage your physical health. Any worries over money and finances can lead to anxiety and increased stress. The physical symptoms of stress can be manifested in problems with insomnia, increased blood pressures, weight gain, hair loss, and heart problems. Mental and emotional health can also be affected by instability with your finances, with attitudes and behaviors potentially following the instability of your finances. Your relationship with friends and family may be jeopardized by the fears and pressures of your financial situation.
The Struggle for Change
For many people, a sense of security comes from financial stability. However, when your financial state is chaotic or seems hopeless, it can lead to increased frustration and depression. Your financial health isn’t something that can be fixed overnight, just like physical health concerns need time to heal. You visit a physician for help with high blood pressure, diabetes, or stress, so why not look to the professionals for help with your financial health. If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, then consider these tips from financial experts that know a thing or two about money.
1. Get a Budget
This is the hardest and scariest part for many people. People feel that their financial problems start with what they earn, but it is more about how much is spent and how much is saved. To be able to get an accurate understanding of your finances, you need to go through your financial records and write down all your expenses. Don’t just look at them. Facing the truth means physically having to account for each dollar spent. The good, the bad, and the ugly will come out, but this is the first and most important part of moving toward financial health. Come face to face with your spending habits.
2. Start Saving
No matter how tight your finances may seem, you can’t afford NOT to start saving. Even something as small as five dollars a paycheck is a start. Saving is a way to pay yourself first. Buying a new pair of shoes can’t help you when the water heater needs to be repaired, but saving those splurge dollars instead of spending them can get you out of a pinch. Don’t resort to credit cards or borrowed funds, either. By creating a strong savings habit, you will have the cash to pay for a new outfit or appliance when the need arises.
3. Deal With Bad Debt
Debt can create serious problems with stress and anxiety, constantly weighing on your mind as payment deadlines draw near. Any debt that you have takes away from money you could be saving or spending on important things like groceries or education. Consumer debt comes with the heaviest load, as interest rates and hidden fees can leave your crippled and unable to get out of the hole. You may rely on your bed debt to help buy Christmas presents or fund your Friday night dinner dates, but these habits just make it harder to get out of your situation. You need to deal with your debt, whether it means cutting up your credit cards, meeting with a debt specialist, or changing spending habits. Allocate extra funds each week to pay the higher interest cards and slowly work to eliminate one account at a time. No amount is too small to put toward getting rid of your debt.
Having financial stability can reduce the headaches and stress that generally accompany payday or your bill due dates. It takes effort to address the seriousness of your financial health, but it is worth the time and energy to make a change since your finances can have a significant impact on your physical health and wellness.
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