Most financial advice starts with the assumption that everyone can efficiently work towards a reasonable budget and a healthy retirement plan. Still, even the first few steps can feel like a marathon for many people struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression. Mental health struggles can cause day-to-day complications that get in the way of following the most common advice. In this case, building successful saving habits takes a more comprehensive plan that pairs financial help with mental wellness.
Poor Shopping Habits Sabotage Saving Plans
The first step to saving money is to make a responsible budget. Unfortunately, mental health issues can make following an account complicated, primarily due to the risk of developing a compulsive shopping disorder. Shopping can trigger intense feelings of discomfort, deep stress, or even panic for some people. The act of finally buying something starts a sense of relief on top of a shopping trip’s usual rush. Together, these feelings can derail healthy shopping habits savers should be building.
If regular shopping trips are a negative experience, they can feel pressure to finish as quickly as possible without taking time to shop smart. Also, a stressful shopping trip might leave someone so drained that they can’t avoid impulse buys. It’s also not uncommon to feel panic during necessary purchases that do fit within the budget in a cruel twist. This back-and-forth pull of panicked saving and spending will doom any budget and establish bad saving habits.
Long-Term Planning Problems
On top of the short-term issues resulting from a failed budget, it can be difficult to establish long-term savings. Mental health and retirement saving are deeply linked. Anyone suffering from anxiety or depression is going to be less invested in the distant future. People suffering from mental distress can be 24% less likely to have any type of retirement fund. A focus on the present can help with daily wellness, but it negates good investment habits. Reinforcing saving habits also requires active financial management that may not be possible for people suffering from mental distress. Tracking savings accounts, credit cards, and investment plans can be overwhelming on top of handling all their other expenses.
If they do establish a fund, the same bad spending habits mentioned before might sabotage it. A good retirement or long-term savings fund should have a suitable balance of safe and risky investments. Not everyone is comfortable with the volatility of the stock market, though. Anyone struggling with anxiety will have to learn how to be patient and outlast losses.
Overcoming the Obstacles
It’s important to note that these hurdles are not roadblocks. Mental wellness just has to be a part of any savings plan. Therapists or charity organizations can reinforce healthy spending and saving habits as part of a mental health treatment plan. Following helpful project management tips, such as breaking up complicated accounting into minimal, achievable steps, can also help personally. While mental health can harm forming good saving habits, with awareness and a good strategy, it’s possible to overcome it.