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Forums / Staying well / Mental Health and Personal Finance in 2020

Topic: Mental Health and Personal Finance in 2020

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. SapereAude
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    130 posts
    4 September 2020

    Hi everyone,

    I hope you are all going along okay, despite the extra challenges that 2020 has presented us with.

    What I'd like to chat about is mental health and the impact it has on personal finance (and vice versa).

    Have you found ties between mental health and money?

    What things work for you moneywise that make you feel better?

    What things don't work so well financially?

    Are there links between your wellbeing, money, employability and social life?

    Care to discuss. Take care.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    8 September 2020 in reply to SapereAude

    Hi SapereAude,

    Great question. I think the link between one's mental health, their personal financial situation, and the economy more broadly is something we should all be talking and thinking more about. At a baseline level of course, having enough money to live comfortably allows you freedom from anxiety about the basics, and of course disposable income can be spent on hobbies, loved ones, and therapy/medical services for mental health.

    Beyond that, I think a lot of it has to do with the specific conditions of our workplace. For example, I see lots of people here on the forums upset about jobs that place high demand on them, allow for limited creativity/expertise, and/or involve abusive bosses. So I think one's class position (not only how much money you make) is a really key factor, though of course mental illness can impact someone in any class.

    I also think we can't ignore the impact generational wealth (or lack thereof) has on setting up someone for a life free from mental stress and anxiety (or not, as the case may be).

    In terms of personal finance I don't know very much and can only speak for myself. I am generally on a student university stipend that is modest but I don't have many expensive hobbies or dependents. Rent is very high but I try to save what's left over each quarter, and am lucky to be able to move back in with my parents during the pandemic.

    Warmly,

    Gems

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3083 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to SapereAude

    Hi SapereAude,

    Thank you for starting this thread - money is such a big one in mental health so these are great prompts.

    Gems gave a really good answer to these questions. For me, mental health and money have a big link - things are harder with my mental health if money is hard; whether if it's being picky with groceries or not being able to buy nice things. Money can also be the difference between being able to afford to go to therapy as well as how often.

    One thing that I've been doing for years is using a budget- I kind of tally up how much I spend and where. It's been pretty eye-opening for me and it helps. It encourages me to think about ways that I can cut down as well, or if there's something expensive that happens that month - how I can work around it. I'm also really careful on my shopping too.

    Social life can be a big one with finances as well - so many people like to catch up over coffee or do lunch and that's not always practical. It's not quite as inviting as "come over to my house for a sandwich!" heh

    I'm not sure if these answer your questions but I hope so - what are your thoughts?

    rt

  4. Wishes
    Wishes avatar
    30 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to SapereAude

    Hey SapereAude,

    Lately, money has been on my mind as well. And as spoken about above, often money can be quite interlinked to mental health as it is a gateway for social lives, nice things, and groceries.

    Over COVID-19, I lost both my jobs and found myself using up all my savings. It felt like a massive setback, but I was lucky enough to live with my parents and try and make things work in other side jobs. It led me to value modest social events (catching up with a cup of tea online with someone) and also budget for "excess", to curb the cravings to splurge.

    For me, saying to myself that if I hit a certain monetary income I could have 'x' dollars to spend at an online store was helpful. It meant that I wasn't denying myself access to nice things, but moderating and appreciating them more!

    Keen to hear your thoughts.
    Best,
    Wishes

    1 person found this helpful
  5. SapereAude
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    130 posts
    11 September 2020

    Also check out

    https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/managing-my-daily-life/financial-and-mental-wellbeing.html

  6. SapereAude
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    130 posts
    11 September 2020 in reply to uncut_gems

    Hi Gems,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Whilst money can’t buy permanent health, friends or happiness, it can help to improve your standard of live and present you with more opportunities. One of those being the ability to work less hours, be more selective with jobs and pay for more mental health treatment.

    Your point about workplace issues is very valid. You could have the highest paying job in the world but the worst boss or working conditions and your mental health would suffer immensely. Similarly if the job isn’t creative or stimulating enough or you have an abusive manager, things won’t be enjoyable at all.

    I think we need to change our attitude towards money as a society and become more financially literate and that this seed needs to be sowed from a primary school level.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion and story

    :-)

    take care

    1 person found this helpful
  7. SapereAude
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    11 September 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi R_t

    Glad you liked the thread idea and thanks for sharing your excellent opinion too.

    Budgeting is a fantastic idea. Knowing how much you earn (income), where it is going to (expense) and how much you are saving is brilliant. It’s like you are running your own personal business. Your savings give you options (the profit you can keep in the bank, invest or have an emergency buffer for unforeseen circumstances).

    It’s nice when possible to go out for a meal or coffee indeed. The things we take for granted but appreciate more in lockdown in Melbourne. I think we have to budget for some fun in life but we can do so responsibly.

    Take care!

  8. SapereAude
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    130 posts
    11 September 2020 in reply to Wishes

    Hi Wishes,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry you lost both your jobs- that would be really hard. You have showed great spirit though to bounce back so positively.

    I like the idea of a reward or treat for your good work (earning income). Life would be boring if we didn’t live a little along the way. In moderation as you said and you also appreciate it more as you’ve done the hard yards to earn it.

    Thanks for contributing and take care :)

  9. SapereAude
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    SapereAude avatar
    130 posts
    17 May 2021

    2021 so far has entailed plenty of challenges for everyone in a myriad of circumstance.

    How are we going this year with our mental health and finances?

  10. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
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    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1568 posts
    17 May 2021 in reply to SapereAude

    Hi

    Pertinent topic for me, given my current situation. I haven't been able to work for over a decade due to mh issues. This means I've relied on income support all that time, which of course, is woefully inadequate. It's like you just get more and more in a pickle as the number of things you can't afford just builds and builds. I can't go to a dentist, afford new clothes, replace things that break, or service my car, which has now broken down, and I can't afford to get it fixed. It just compounds. And I think that puts extra stress on top of mental health issues, which really isn't good. What's the solution? A progressive government...

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