When we talk about our finances and how it affects our lives, we tend to think about the lifestyle that having money can afford us. We think of how cash can affect the house that we live in, the car that we drive, the places that we entertain ourselves, and whether we are able to head away on holiday once a year or not. However, it’s extremely important that we also consider the ways that our finances can affect less material and more significant parts of our lives.
Believe it or not, finances and mental health, happiness, and wellbeing are all closely linked. There are, of course, ways that your mental health and emotional wellbeing can affect your finances directly. You may find that you lose your job or find difficulty in being hired because you have experiences with mental health problems. This can plunge you into financial turmoil. Your relationship may strain and break under a lack of emotional wellbeing, and you find that you suddenly have to pay a lot more to live, as you are no longer splitting rent and bills with another person.
However, have you ever considered that things can also work the other way around? That a negative financial standing or debt can actually take the wheel and have a profoundly negative impact on your life and cause you to experience upset, pessimism, or even depression? Studies have found that experiencing debt can result in mood swings, anxiety, consistent low moods, and a range of other negative symptoms in individuals. So, if your main goal in life is to be happy, it’s extremely important that you maintain a positive financial standing in life. Here are a few different ways that you can take control of your finances and start improving your overall quality of life!
Clearing Existing Debt
If all of this sounds familiar, and you already have existing debt that is making your life a misery, you need to focus the majority of your energy and effort into clearing this sum of money. The best and most positive way to do this is to come up with a financial plan. Note down all of the money that you owe. Then work out the amount of disposable income that you have on a monthly basis after paying rent, bills, and other essentials from your pay packet. Chances are that this disposable income is usually spent on entertainment or other luxuries. Instead, dedicate it wholly to making extra payments off your credit cards or finance agreements.
Sure, you may have some dull months during this process, but you will clear your debts a lot faster and will be liberated once they’re paid off. Writing all of this down in a personal financial plan will also give you an exact date that your debts will be cleared in the future, giving you something to aim for, focus on, and look forward to. Remember that not spending money doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a social life during this period. If you hide away in the house doing absolutely nothing, you can start to feel down, even if you are positively impacting your financial life. Just do free things instead. Invite friends around to watch a film, go for a walk in your local park, or head to free events or attractions in your area, such as museums.
Knowing How to Use Credit Cards Effectively
If you find that you need to take out some form of credit agreement (whether that’s to cover unexpected costs or to boost your credit rating), don’t worry. Engaging with lending doesn’t necessarily have to mean sinking into irrecoverable debt. You just need to know how to borrow money sensibly and effectively. Let’s start with credit cards, as these are one of the most commonly used financial tools when it comes to accessing emergency cash or building your credit score. When you take out a credit card, you will gain access to open-ended cash within a set credit limit. You can use this cash, pay it back, then use it again and continue this cycle for as long as you please.
But not all credit cards are equal. Each card will come with an interest rate attached, meaning that it costs more to use cards with a high-interest rate than it would to use a card with a lower interest rate in exactly the same way. You can click here in order to find out which credit cards on the market may offer you the best interest rates. Once you have found the best credit cards for your needs, it is absolutely imperative that you do not exceed your agreed credit limit, as this will see you rack up big fees and fines. It is also important that you don’t take cash out from your credit card account (this also incurs large fees), and that you pay back your minimum payment figure every month.
Avoiding Borrowing from Friends and Family
You may have noticed that the term “interest rate” has been thrown about quite a lot above. This is because every professional lender will charge you an interest rate for using their services. This is how they make money! So, it’s not all too surprising that many people think that they would be better off borrowing money from friends and family who will not charge them interest rates. But this should be avoided at all costs. It’s bad enough that money can interfere with your personal wellbeing, but you shouldn’t allow it to interfere with your personal relationships too. Borrowing from friends and family can result in tensions, arguments, and disagreements that would otherwise be avoided. Only ever borrow money from professional lenders. The interest rate is more than worth maintaining your positive relationships with the people you love.
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While it is a shame that money holds the potential to have such detrimental effects on your overall happiness and wellbeing, there are ways to reduce its impact – and that’s by maintaining a positive financial stance in life. Hopefully, the above information will help you to achieve this!
This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.