Financial Wellbeing | 3 min read

World Mental Health Day 2020 - Up in my feels: My bank account and me

So, can we all agree that when the clock strikes midnight we never mention 2020 again, deal? 

This year has been awful in many ways. Pure doom and gloom. All bar one part of my life that has taken an unexpected positive turn: my relationship with money.  

With a mortgage holiday, no nights out, no ubers, no work commute, redundancy (before I wow’d StepLadder with my skills) and the declining value of my industry I have been forced to  pay serious attention to my options, outgoings and future from a whole new perspective. 

If my bank account could speak it would ask me if I’ve engaged in any illegal activity because up until this day my relationship with money has been toxic: now you see it, now you don’t, because ‘money comes and goes’, right? Great saying…. alongside ‘yolo’ if you want to live your best life 24/7. But COVID, the massive fun sponge, has shown that actually the certainty of it coming back is not always a given. 

So how can we mentally stay ahead of the game?

With lockdown putting a magnifying glass on our mental health, keeping it in check when it comes to your spending habits is vital if you want to achieve goals. When we reflect on poor financial decisions we all make, (at least on a weekly basis), every part of your thought process is linked to how you’re feeling at the exact moment. THIS is why it is so important to take care of yourself. 

Anxiety - This b*#% is something, like many others, that has become part of every daily life. An invisible but very real barrier to being stress free and content, but how does this affect your relationship with money? 

Have you missed payments because you just can’t deal with the stress of tackling it head on at the time? Overwhelmed by the total amount or the deadline so you literally just pretend it’s not happening … I’m guilty! Trouble is, when those final issue letters land and interest has been added, what could have been a simple issue to try and fix has now spiralled into an unmanageable debt, taking anxiety to another level - arghhhhh!

So how can we try to fix this? 

Confront it. 

Hands up - who of you would try and do things solo rather than ask for help? The pride has got to be swallowed I’m afraid. Without help, or at least getting it off your chest, it is only going to get worse. 

Hopefully in this day and age, you’ll find that the companies making payment demands usually just want a plan in place. Call them up and speak to a human being. Empathy should be waiting for you on the other side.

‘Feeling a bit down’ - quite simply leads to overspending. ”I’ve had a bad week, I deserve this”; “This will make me feel better”, sound familiar? That new outfit, that takeaway, treat yo’self, but does the fulfilment actually last? If your goal is to go travelling, get out of debt, or most importantly buy your first home, you can’t afford to overspend. You need to stay on track for the big treats you’ll get at the finishing line - and satisfaction will be all the more worth it! 

‘Money can’t buy you happiness’ but it can provide options, so instead of making that materialistic purchase for a quick hit, let’s swap it for something with substance and keep you on track for your home buying journey - just think of the oasis of calm you can create in your new dream home! 

Mental health can seriously affect your ability to make the right decisions for your saving goals, and the only person who can keep your head clear and full of motivation is you. You are in control, even though it might not seem like it all the time. 

Take an hour out this weekend to make a priority list of what keeps you cool, calm and collected. 

Here are few suggestions to keep happy thoughts;

    • The Happiness Planner - everyday you fill out a gratitude diary and work on any issues that aren’t quite hitting your happy spot. Goals set for the year, you can use this to keep yourself accountable and as a reminder of how much you have achieved  https://thehappinessplanner.com/
    • Headspace (they have extended their free version!) - Everyday Mindfulness and Meditation for Stress https://www.headspace.com/ 
    • National debt line - https://www.gov.uk/national-debtline
    • StepLadder - If you’re a feeling overwhelmed with any part of your home buying journey - even just about how to start - the team is only one call away. 

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Financial Wellbeing

Jerri Howlett

Jerri is the Marketing Manager at StepLadder. Here to prove that injecting personality can still be 'professional'. Keeping her finger pulse she'll give you the lowdown on the hottest topics, creating killer content to keep you motivated on your home buying journey!

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