Can Financial Worries Impact Your Health?
Do you often find yourself worrying about money? Are you stressed about paying down debt, or struggling with adding to your savings?
You’re not alone – finances are a big source of stress for 72% of Americans. Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or worrying about saving for retirement, financial stress can weigh you down. From our credit scores to our relationships, finances affect almost every aspect of our lives. But the problem goes deeper than our pocketbooks.
Research shows that financial worries can have negative effects on our mental and physical health. From sleep problems and anxiety to migraines and heart complications, financial stress has been linked to a variety of health problems. But if you take control of your personal finances, you can stabilize your financial and physical health all in one fell swoop.
Taking control of your finances doesn’t have to be hard. At Origin Bank, we offer easy-to-use tools that make financial goal planning simple, with tips to help you achieve good financial health so you can reduce your stress and enjoy your hard-earned money.
What is financial health?
Financial health impacts your everyday life and your future. It’s also linked to your overall health and well-being. But what exactly is financial health?
Financial health is a person’s ability to:
● Manage expenses
● Prep for (and bounce back from) financial crises
● Maintain minimal debt, and
● Build wealth
Financial health is the state of your finances, from your credit and debt to savings and investments. And while everyone’s personal definition of financial health may differ depending on income, it generally means you’re able to cover your monthly expenses while still saving and paying down debt.
How can financial worries negatively impact your health?
Financial worries lead to stress, and that stress can impact both your physical and mental health.
From physical symptoms like headaches and fatigue to stomach problems and muscle tension, financial stress can take a toll on your body. And if symptoms like high blood pressure and heightened heart rate continue, it can increase your risk of developing long-term conditions like heart disease.
Researchers found that adults with unsecured debt were more likely to experience pain and inflammation, especially in the joints. These symptoms can limit a person’s ability to work, especially in a physically intensive job, making it even harder to achieve financial stability.
But financial worries do not only impact your physical health – they take a toll on your mental health, too. People who worry about debt or have trouble paying for their expenses frequently report symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Issues with money management can also lead to a decrease in self-esteem, as many feel ashamed or embarrassed about their financial situation. This can make them feel isolated, putting a strain on their relationships and self-image. Financial stress can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, alcohol dependence and smoking, all of which further increase the risk of developing health problems.
On the whole, it’s clear that financial stress can have a major impact on physical health and mental health. That’s why we’re here to help you address it by improving your financial health and managing your money. Ready to learn more?
How to improve your financial health and your wellbeing
To better your financial health (and your physical and mental health) you need a plan that you can stick to. Here are a few ways to get your finances in check:
1. Budget, budget, budget
Cutting back on your monthly expenses is essential if you want to pay down debt or boost your savings. The most effective way to achieve this is to create a budget and stick to it. While certain costs like rent, mortgage payments, groceries, and insurance are necessary, incidentals are easier to reduce. Start by tracking your income and expenses, then identify areas where you can scale back.
Small purchases like coffee and takeout might seem insignificant, but they add up quickly. To cut back, try meal prepping on weekends to avoid expensive dinners out. If rent is a burden, consider searching for a roommate to help share costs. Don't let unnecessary expenses weigh you down – take charge and start budgeting today with resources like Origin’s Personal Financial Management Tool.
2. Prepare for the unexpected
Building up an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses can keep you financially healthy when life throws you a curveball. Stay ahead of the game by planning for unexpected events like job losses, car breakdowns, or medical emergencies, and you won’t be blindsided by unforeseen costs. This financial cushion can help you weather the unanticipated.
3. Pay down debt
Debt is one of the most burdensome financial stressors. That’s why it’s important to pay down debt ASAP to improve your financial health. Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. This helps you reduce the amount of interest you’re paying each month, so you can pay off your debts faster and save money in the long run.
Taking steps to reduce financial stress is crucial for both your physical and mental health. By creating (and sticking to) a budget, paying down debts, and creating an emergency fund, individuals can improve their financial health and protect their health and peace of mind.
Small changes can make a big difference, and it's never too late to take control of your finances. At Origin Bank, we're committed to helping our customers achieve good financial health with a range of tools and resources to support their journey. Whether you need budgeting tools or online banking resources, our Trusted Advisors are here to help.