Our financial health is a key piece to our overall wellbeing. If money concerns grow, it can impact our whole health. There are strong links between our financial wellness and our physical, mental and social health too.
Rising costs and concerns
A recent survey in the UK commissioned by the Royal College of Physicians showed that 55% of people reported a negative impact on their health from the rising cost of living. Here in Australia, the Families in Australia Survey showed one in six families are concerned about their families current financial situation and one in five are very concerned about their future financial situation.
Financial wellbeing and your whole health
Financial stresses can impact our whole health in many ways including sleep difficulties, tiredness, heart conditions, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, migraines and isolation. These factors can be heightened when we engage in unhealthy coping behavious such as overeating, alcohol or drug misuse. Money worries can also put a strain on our relationships.
In addition to our own health and the people we care about, financial instability can also have a knock on affect to the things we care about. Research shows, speed, impairment, distraction, and fatigue are the key causes for over 90% of car crashes.
Optimal wellbeing is achieved when all areas of health are in careful balance so it’s important to focus on your physical, mental and social health too.
Tips to keep financially fit
Now might be the time to re-evaluate your relationship with money. Here are some tips we’ve prepared with our friends from Benestar to help you stay healthy when it comes to money matters and your overall wellbeing.
- Keep track
- Knowing how the money you earn is spent each day on items such as food, activities and living costs can show you where you might be leaking money.
- Download the ASIC’s Budget Planner on ASICS MoneySmart Website to help keep it quick and simple. If you’re in New Zealand visit the Live Sorted website and access their online budgeting tool. Or, use a diary if preferred.
- Plan ahead
- Create a budget so you have a reality check on your financial situation. This will help you reduce non-essential expenses.
- Because some bills are paid each quarter, track your spend and watch your budget for at least 3 months.
- Build a safety net
- If you can cut back non-essential spend, you can look at ways to build a savings buffer for a rainy day
- Remember having an insurance plan exists to offer you peace of mind and help reduce risks and costs if things go wrong in the future. For Zurich customers, view our Control your Cover page for tips on how to manage your premiums.
- Balance it out
- Set up a weekly menu based on seasonal produce to ensure a healthy diet despite rising food costs and reduce food waste
- Schedule time for exercise - cleaning the house and washing your car might be cost saving and help you meet your movement goals
- Make sleep a priority – although worry can make it hard to clock quality sleep be sure to introduce good sleep habits and wind down
- Take time to be mindful to reduce stress, anxiety and activate emotional control
- Catch up with family and friends to break negative thought patterns and share how you might be feeling
- Seek help
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, then seek out a professional to guide you – your GP can help with physical and mental health concerns and your adviser or broker with financial planning.
When it comes to matters of money, make sure you continue to look after your whole health. You may not achieve or act on all the plans you’ve set up, but celebrate the small wins along your journey towards feeling financially healthier.