Mental Health & Money: Why it’s time to talk about your finances

With poor mental health affecting one in four people every year, it’s clear there are a number of triggers that can cause stress or anxiety in our day-to-day lives. Money is known to be a significant cause of concern and can lead to feelings of stress or depression.

While having an open conversation about mental health is a must, Foresters Friendly Society has also shared three ways to take stock of your finances and reduce any worry or stress you may be feeling when it comes to money.

What am I spending my money on?

No one wants to be faced with all of their outgoings at once but this is an important first step to helping you have a clearer idea of your financial habits. Think about what your major outgoings are like the mortgage, heating, car insurance and your food bills and consider how much you can afford to put aside each month and what unexpected expenditure you might need to cover.

Look out for free activities

While money may be tight there are plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained on a budget. For example, across the country numerous museums, national heritage sites and art galleries are free for the public to enjoy. Fancy staying in? The colder months are a perfect excuse to teach yourself a new recipe or stick on a movie for your friends and family.

School yourself

Research by Foresters Friendly Society found 37% of parents wished they’d had a better understanding of how to save for short or long-term goals when they were at school. While we can’t turn back the clock, it’s important healthy saving and spending habits are passed onto younger family members.

Reinforcing the importance of saving for the future to younger friends and family will keep your own money management in check!

Rachel Hardy, Chief Executive of Foresters Friendly Society commented: “For many people the start of the year can feel a little deflating after the fun of the festive season, and Christmas bills and what can feel like long stretches between pay days can take a toll on our finances.

“Time to Talk Day is a great initiative run by mental health charity Time to Change that encourages people to open up communication channels with friends, loved ones or even professionals and tackle problems together. With poor financial health known to be a leading cause of stress and poor mental health, addressing bad habits now can have a significant impact on your whole outlook on life.”

[1] www.mind.org.uk – statistics and facts about mental health

[2] www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – money on the mind: a nation feeling the cost