Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health

https://orwellness.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/pexels-towfiqu-barbhuiya-10994723-scaled-e1700838962807.jpgFinancial Wellbeing and Mental Health

According to PwC’s 2023 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, personal finances are the number one cause of stress for Irish employees, and this stress is worsening as time goes on. An increasing number of people in Ireland struggle to pay all of their bills each month, while a decreasing amount have disposable income left over once the bills have been paid. In fact, the same survey found that almost 10% of Irish workers are now working more than one job to make ends meet.

While money can’t buy happiness, the lack of it can certainly lead to other issues. Stressing about finances can cause us to lose sleep and concentration, which can lead to further problems and stress at work. Certain factors, such as the cost of housing or electricity, are beyond our control. But there are ways you can take control of your finances and improve your mental health in the process.

Use Cash

It may sound like a cliché, but it is a cliché backed by science. Studies have shown that people spend an average of 12-18% more when using credit card compared to cash, with some customers willing to pay twice the price for the same item or service. The psychological reasoning behind this is that the money or payment is more abstract when not using cash. Physically giving away your money is a very different experience to knowing that some digits have changed somewhere online. So keep your online banking online, and stick to physical cash when out in the real world.

Shop Around

It is not unusual for people to shop around for a better deal when they find an item they want. What is less common, however, is looking for a better deal from our service providers. For most people, bills are an inescapable reality we would rather ignore. We tend to set up things like phone, TV, internet and heating when we move in, after which we prefer not to deal with customer service. While most of these providers will have a minimum contract period, once this has expired, you could save on your bills by switching to another provider. In many cases, your original provider will match the better offer to avoid losing you as a customer.

Maintain a Payment Calendar

While automated payments can be a good way to prevent stressing about our finances, they can also cause problems when we forget to take them into account. For example, it is often cheaper to pay for several months of bin collections at once as opposed to a weekly basis. But it is easy to forget when that bill is due, which can catch people off guard and leave them short of cash. By maintaining a calendar of these payments, not only are you less likely to be surprised, but you can arrange your bills in such a way that they do not all come at once, but are spread out in a much more manageable fashion.

Financial stress is something that almost everyone will experience in their lives. Pushing these issues to the back of your mind won’t change anything, and the stress will continue to fester deep down. While there is no easy way to balance your books and leave yourself with cash to burn, confronting these issues head on is the best way to deal with the stress they induce, and the best way to look after both your financial and mental health.

If you’re dealing with stress, and are interested in low-cost counselling, please get in touch with us today.