We all have those things that make us feel good about life. But our financial situation certainly isn’t one of them. All too often we’re told how cash concerns are taking their toll on the nation’s mental wellbeing. Nearly eight in 10 British adults (79%) admit they’re worried about money – more than a third of whom(35%) feel the weight of anxiety on their shoulders at least once a day.
For something that is so entwined in everything we do, it can be hard to escape the clutches of our financial situation. And, without acting, it can be just as hard to stop those worries impacting other parts of our lives too – including our relationships with friends and family.‘But how’, you might ask. Well, taking a more mindful approach to managing your financial options could be the answer.
Create space, plan and visualise
It often feels as if life speeds by in the blink of an eye and it can be too easy to spend without really thinking about it. But, just as if you were unwell with a cold, take some time to take stock of things. This doesn’t mean stop paying your bills (not a good idea!). Instead, do you need that daily morning latte? Can you go without that new pair of shoes? And do you have a goal that you want to aim for?
Be aware of your situation
In personal finance, ignorance is not always bliss. One study has found that a third of 18-to-24-year-olds in the UK are too scared to check their bank balance. This ‘ostrich effect’ is not just restricted toyoung adults either. To get on top of your money worries, you first need to know where you stand.
Incomings and outgoings
Part of becoming more aware of your financial situation is keeping track of what’s going out… and what’s coming in. If the amount you’re spending is constantly outweighing what you’re earning, it can only add up to difficulties later. By deducting the essentials from your income, you can see the amount left for the fun things in life. It can also help to put a bit away into savings each month too.
Give yourself the tools you need
There’s an app for everything these days and money management is no different. Not only can you find some superb apps to help you track your finances in a way that doesn’t involve a complicated spreadsheet, but there are plenty of broader mindfulness apps that can prove highly effective.
It’s good to talk
Partners, parents, friends or even specialist advisors – getting on top of your finances doesn’t have to be done alone. Even if you don’t think you can talk to someone you know yet, it can be helpful to know there are people out there who will listen to you for free and help with some impartial advice.
Be realistic in your aims
You don’t need to run before you can walk. It can take time to get yourself into a financial situation that you’re comfortable with. And understand that progress, however small, is still progress.
Cover all the bases
Last, but by no means least, is to look after your overall wellbeing. Money isn’t everything when it comes to life. Of course, it can have a major impact as we’ve already discussed. But you’ll also find there are plenty of other things to embrace – your hobbies, your loved ones and your passions.