mental health benefits of saving money

Although I spend much of my time writing about personal finance issues, my advanced education is actually in psychology. I am passionately interested in the intersection between these two topics. In so many ways, the two are linked. The link can be positive, negative, or neutral. For today, let’s talk about some positive stuff. Here are ten mental health benefits of saving money.

Relationship Between Money and Mental Health

Before we get into those benefits, though, let’s talk briefly about how finances and mental health are connected. Here are just a few of the ways:

  • People with mental health challenges sometimes have symptoms that make it hard to deal with money.
  • Mental health costs can be very high, causing financial challenges.
  • Access to money can mean better access to mental health care in America.
  • When we struggle financially, it often negatively affects our mental health.

1o Mental Health Benefits of Saving Money 

Clearly, this is a complicated issue. There are many layers to it. For today, though, let’s just look at the mental health benefits of saving money.

1. Emergency Savings For Mental Health Services

As someone who struggles with periods of depression, this is of primary importance to me. Mental health care is expensive. Even if you’re lucky enough to have terrific insurance, many therapists don’t accept insurance. Instead, you have to pay the therapist directly then get insurance reimbursement, which takes time. Therefore, you really need an emergency cushion. Saving money allows you to have the money to pay for the care that you need whether that’s therapy, medication, or some other type of support.

2. Emergency Savings for Down Time From Work

This deserves its own point because it’s so important. Conditions like depression are among the leading causes of lack of work productivity. When you struggle with symptoms like fatigue and hopelessness, you might find it challenging to actually get up and go to your job. Additionally, you may use time off for doctor’s appointments. Until American work culture allows for adequate mental health care, we have to find ways to handle this ourselves. Therefore, we need emergency savings for those times when mental health symptoms prevent us from working to our fullest capacity.

3. Saving Can Build Self-Esteem

Many mental health conditions negatively impact self-esteem. Therefore, any steps that you can take to build self-esteem may help with positive outcomes. Setting small goals to save money and then achieving those goals can help to build self-esteem. Therefore, when structured well, this can sometimes be one of the mental health benefits of saving money.

4. Saving Money Reduces Anxiety

Anxiety is a mental health conditions. However, it’s also a symptom of other mental health conditions. In both instances, financial stress can easily exacerbate anxiety. Many times, anxiety is amorphous. You get this sense that things are scary, not right, to be worried about. One antidote is gaining control through looking at reality in a more concrete way. So, when you save money, and you look clearly at the facts of that, it can assist you in reducing money anxiety.

5. Stress Exacerbates Mental Health Challenges

Stress makes all mental health challenges more difficult to cope with. The more stress that we have in our lives, the lower our window of tolerance. Money is obviously a huge stressor in our lives and in our relationships. As a result, reducing stress around money can improve mental health symptoms.

Notably, stress also has a significant impact on physical health. Mental and physical health are closely related. Therefore, reducing stress levels can improve both areas of health.

6. Saved Money Offers Freedom

Having money in the bank offers you options. We’ve already explored how this gives you access to mental health services, downtime from work, and relief from anxiety. However, it’s also beneficial because it creates expansiveness in your life. If you don’t have any money saved up, then you might not feel like you have an options. This can create a sense that you’re trapped. The feeling of being trapped can exacerbate some mental health conditions. By giving yourself wiggle room in life, you reduce that trapped feeling.

7. Saving Money Allows You To Help Others

Sometimes one of the best things that you can do for your mental health is to get outside of your own mind. Numerous studies show that focusing on service to others can vastly improve mental health. When you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s hard to help others. However, when you save money and live within your means, it becomes easier to see ways that you can give to others. Of course, you don’t have to have money to be generous. You can always give your time and compassion. It’s just easier to offer those things when you aren’t financially stressed.

8. Living By Your Values

Sometimes saving money is aligned with your greater values in life. For example, you might have concerns about the environment. Reducing consumption can reduce your impact on the environment. When you live in your life in greater alignment with your deepest, truest values, you have a better chance of improved mental health.

9. The Opportunity to Say No

Saving money gives you the opportunity to practice saying no. For example, you might decline certain invitations because you don’t want to spend the money. Instead of taking on too much overtime work, you might say no and use some of that savings. The ability to say no can assist you with setting healthy boundaries in all areas of your life, which is a critical part of mental health.

10. Saving Money Together Can Improve Relationships

Our relationships play an important role in our overall mental health. Marriages, other family relationships, and even friendships may suffer when money becomes a problem. However, when you work together to save money, you can build better bonds. This certainly isn’t always the case. However, when you’re able to talk authentically about money with the people in your life, you often find that it strengthens your bonds. This, in turn, may improve other aspects of mental health.

Note that although I have a degree in psychology, I’m not a licensed psychologist. All of this information about the mental health benefits of saving money is based on on my own experience. Furthermore, what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, if you’re struggling with mental health issues, be sure to reach out for professional support.

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