Six Mental Health Hacks to Manage Your Finances

By Lisa Franchi on April 19, 2017

Managing your finances can be stressful. The good news is that there are several ways to transform your mindset towards budgeting, taxes, and other finance-related matters. Here are some great mental hacks to manage your finances with little stress:

Prioritise your health.

Getting ill is very expensive. Before you think about saving, investing, and other income-generating stuff, make sure you are giving your body what it needs to stay healthy – quality sleep, good food, regular exercise and relaxation. You may find that healthy eating is expensive. Yes, it can be. But in the long run, your wallet will thank you. Not only that. When you are in good shape – physically and mentally – you are more likely to make smart financial decisions.

Establish healthy social boundaries.

Make sure that you don’t let others’ opinions and lifestyles affect your financial choices. Whether it means cutting back on unnecessary expenses, splitting the bills with your significant other, or unfollowing glamourous, fashion gurus on Instagram, make sure that you are able to establish healthy social boundaries. Needing to keep up with other people’s financial choices can cause a whole lot of trouble to you, especially when they’re out of budget.

Apply the “save first then spend” mentality.

At least 20% of your income should go towards savings. Meanwhile, another 50% (maximum) should go towards necessities, while 30% goes towards discretionary items – including self-rewards. This is called the 50/30/20 rule of thumb. It’s effective and easy to follow. And make sure that upon receiving your salary, you prioritise setting aside cash for your savings. It’s easy to forget about this thing when you think of spending first.

Monitor your payments and declutter your bills.

It is a great idea to create a journal of your regular monthly expenses. You can use programs like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel or some budgeting apps you can download online. Or, you can simply track it with pen and paper. Keeping track of your payables, debts, and bills not only save you from hassle and stress. It can also give you great insights on your spending habits and check out areas which you can remove or lower down.

Seek advice.

If you ever feel confused about whether or not you are being smart about your financial choices, you can always seek advice from other people. A trusted friend or family member can give you invaluable feedback and tips. Setting up your support system reduces the mental burden of managing your finances. Of course, you can seek help from a professional counsellor. Our spending habits are often influenced by our behaviour. Understanding the patterns in our behaviour and way of thinking can open the venue towards better financial choices.

Don’t forget to reward yourself.

Spending on yourself from time to time is not bad. In fact, it motivates you even further to make better financial decisions for the future. Give yourself credit where it’s due. Treating yourself with a sumptuous meal at your favourite restaurant, making plans to cook dinner for your friends, or a treat to the salon can be great motivators.

Financial planning can be difficult. And overtime, things can get better or worse. And often, the first steps are the hardest. But once you’ve established the right mentality and financial habits, you’d start to feel its benefits in every aspect of your life.

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