Money Stress and Mental Health.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

money worries, stress, debt, financial struggles, mental health, depression, anxiety, sleepless nights,
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We all know that money worries can have a HUGE effect on everything from our physical health to our mental health and even the way we go about our daily lives. Sadly, no matter how much we try not to let money dictate our lives or hear the phrases 'money doesn't buy happiness' or 'money won't keep you warm at night' I can't help but think that actually, that's bullshit.

No, money doesn't buy happiness but it buys food and if you can't buy food that can make you pretty unhappy. And hungry.

No money doesn't keep you warm at night but money buys heating which does. Get me?

If you are struggling with money worries or can't pay your bills then it really does start to have an impact on your day to day life and happiness. It will keep you awake at night and you will feel like you can't escape those problems and that they're following you around everywhere you go.

We went through a very stressful year last year with Patrick going through several redundancies and any money we had leftover at the end of 2016 after moving soon disappeared (there wasn't a lot anyway to be fair). Little did we know that was just the start and that the bad luck would continue all through 2017 leaving us pretty much broke. Were it not for help from our families we would be in a much worse position than we are now.

I have talked about this a few times on here now that it is probably sounding a bit like a broken record but it has been the main factor in our lives for the past 18 months so it is hard to avoid it really.

Many people still don't like to discuss money and to be honest, in general, I am one of those people too. I don't go on about how much our bills are or how much my husband earns because I think that's personal and frankly, no one really needs to know however, I do think some of the taboo about talking about finances and financial difficulty need to be lifted and people need to feel able to discuss this with others or ask for help without feeling like a failure or that it shouldn't be discussed.

I am of course, not saying we should just rely on others for help, no no. I never ever want to go through what we went through last year ever again nor do I want to have to be in a position where we have no money and need help to pay bills or buy food. I am talking general help, like contacting the companies you owe money to or discussing with friends how they manage their finances to get ideas on what you can do to better manage yours. If you need to ask for help from family then of course that isn't a terrible thing but we shouldn't rely on our family to get us out of every black hole we find ourselves in.

I have spent a lot of this year already worrying and stressing over money. Even though Patrick has been in steady employment since just before Christmas it doesn't mean things automatically become all rosey again. It takes a long time. We were in the red with a lot of things, it is only just getting back to normal now really. We have really struggled and we are still struggling now.

Even so, as another saying goes: 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' and when you hit hard times and struggle, no matter what it is the key thing is to learn from them.

Last years events have completely changed my attitude to spending; it has made me think about the future and made me want to get our finances back into good shape and make them better than they have ever been before.

By the time we hit 40 (which granted is a while off yet but still, it will be here one day!) I want us to have a healthy bank balance, a healthy savings account and a healthy emergency fund. And I really don't think that is an impossible feat. If we ever have had an emergency fund it has only ever been a couple of hundred pounds which is a silly amount and just not enough. If an emergency hits you then BOOM, the money is gone again.

So, I have given our finances a bit of a brush up and put in place ways to start again.

We literally are starting again too from the very rockiest of bottoms and while that notion seems - and is - daunting, I am looking forward to spending 2018 getting us sorted. I am looking forward to the challenge and to focusing on something positive that will help us in the long run. It is a positive mental challenge that also keeps my brain busy.

I am planning on sharing my journey with you on here because, lets face it,  it is going to be a long one! I also want to share my tips and tricks and the lessons and advice I learn along the way.

If you are new to budgeting or feel that your finances need sorting out then maybe nows the time for you too?

We have never properly accounted for every penny that is spent and sometimes it has been to the point that we have looked at our balance and literally not understood how we have spent so much.

Those days are gone.
I am sick of not having a clue where our money goes and I am sick of feeling as though we are not in control of our finances.

That changes right now!

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