By Sahar Abdul Zahir, BlueShore Financial
Special to Financial Independence Hub
Many people view money as simply numbers that get you from point A to point B, and may not make a connection between how finances can also impact mental and physical health. However, FP Canada’s 2022 Financial Stress Index survey found that 38% of Canadians believe finances are their biggest source of stress, ahead of both health and relationship issues. More alarmingly, FP Canada’s study also found that 43% of respondents had lost sleep over financial anxiety.
There are a variety of reasons why many of us do not seek professional advice for our financial problems, ranging from not thinking we need the help, to being embarrassed, or not knowing where to go. Regardless of the reason, there is a clear link between finances, anxiety, stress, and mental health, and avoidance of the problem is not the answer. The good news is, there are many steps you can take today to help get yourself back on track.
Understand your relationship with money
Many people still believe that talking about money is taboo, or feel embarrassed to discuss financial troubles, even with a professional. Financial literacy should begin at an early age and continue as a lifelong learning process. Having an open dialogue around finances and money management as a family can be a good thing as your experience with money, or lack thereof, in your childhood can impact your attitude and emotions towards money later in life. Make note of impulse buying behaviour and what may trigger it: perhaps a hard day at work, or an argument with your partner. Understanding these spending patterns will allow you to find better ways to manage these stresses and adjust accordingly.
Financial health checkups
Just like doing a regular physical health checkup, having periodic financial wellness checkups is important for detecting any areas that you should focus on. This can be done by completing a thorough audit of finances, budgets, and plans with an advisor. An annual checkup can help you better prepare for the future and minimize the impact of any surprise events. Also utilizing online advice tools such as BlueShore’s Financial Wellness Checkup tool can help get you started, by providing an assessment of how you are doing, and advice on where you need to improve along your path to financial wellness.
Small cuts for long-term impact
We have all heard the latte-a-day and avocado toast analogy. While these items can seem like small expenses that are not likely to make a big impact on our overall financial health, they are really representative of our spending habits. Cutting out your morning coffee is not going to make you wealthy, but you may have some ongoing small expenditures that quickly add up and could affect your long-term financial goals. Continue Reading…