June 17, 2024
Financial well-being: Smart financial habits that enhance your mental health

Mental health and financial well-being are two important aspects of life that are often viewed in isolation from each other. However, these deeply intertwined elements play a key role in determining our overall health and happiness.

Financial health is not just about a hefty amount in one’s bank account, it is also an individual’s financial literacy, stability and preparedness for the future. It encompasses various factors such as budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt. When individuals struggle in these areas, it leads to stress, anxiety and even depression.

A recent study found that approximately five out of 10 Kenyans feel overwhelmingly or highly stressed by their financial situation.

A further two-thirds of those highly stressed by their financial situation said that stress is taking a toll on their physical and mental health. We must therefore recognise the connection between financial well-being and mental health to foster a society where we thrive in both facets.

The first step is through education. By equipping individuals with financial literacy skills and promoting mental health awareness, we can empower them to make informed decisions and seek support when needed.

Furthermore, increasing access to assistive programmes such as counselling services and mental health resources will create an environment where mental health is valued and prioritised. This integration will support the well-being of individuals and shape a culture of understanding and empathy within workplaces and communities.

Secondly, we must adopt a practice of mindful spending. In a world where consumerism often dictates our spending habits, it is crucial to consistently prioritise value over impulse. Mindful spending is about the conscious awareness of where our money goes. This habit fosters a mindset of resilience while enabling a person to allocate resources more effectively and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Additionally, embracing this approach transforms a person’s relationship with money while fostering both financial and mental well-being.

Additionally, having an emergency fund can offer reprieve from financial stress. A dedicated fund earmarked for emergencies mitigates the anxiety associated with financial uncertainty, allowing individuals to focus their energy on other aspects of their lives. Building an emergency fund doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

By automating savings, you can set up regular transfers from your checking account to your emergency fund without thinking about it. Furthermore, doing away with credit cards and mobile lending apps will ensure that you are not tempted into debts due to impulse spending.

In conclusion, consulting with financial professionals can empower individuals to take control of their financial future, leading to a sense of security and peace of mind. Managing finances can often feel daunting. From budgeting and investing, to planning for retirement and managing debt, the complexities of personal finance can be overwhelming. Finance professionals possess the expertise to navigate the intricate world of money management.

Regina Kamba is Fund Services Manager at Jubilee Asset Management

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