When you think about the word “healthy”, you probably think exercise, diet, and other buzz words regarding your physical health. Studies show that mental health and stress have an enormous impact on your physical well-being, but do not receive as much attention. One of the key components to avoiding or reducing stress (and consequently improving mental health) is by focusing on your financial health. The American Psychology Association found that money is the #1 source of stress in America and that more than 3 out of every 4 American families are in debt. The good news is that there are many ways to improve your financial health and help you live a happier, healthier life.
- Pay off credit card debit – Money experts often recommend paying off credit cards as the number one financial goal. With high fees and accumulating balances, credit card debt can be a black hole that is difficult to climb out of. There are credit services that can help make a plan to pay down credit card debt.
- Create a budget and stick with it – Setting up a budget and tracking what you spend can help highlight problem areas and where money can be saved.
- Save – Every family should have a savings account for emergencies. Even if you are only able to save a little bit each month, it can help relieve a lot of worry when an unexpected expense occurs.
- Think long-term – Evaluate your retirement savings and life insurance coverage to make sure you are covered long-term. The “unknown” is stressful and can be combated by creating a plan for the future.
The key to financial health is getting in control of your money, instead of letting it control you. As you get a handle on your financial health, your mental and physical health will experience improvements as well.