We hear a lot these days about mental health and self-care, and how we can all be living more deliberately and mindfully in order to look after our mental and physical health. It’s fantastic that we’re now having these conversations about things that have for too long slipped under the radar – but one topic that’s very relevant, yet still considered taboo, is money management. Living paycheck to paycheck or living with debt can have a severe negative impact on our mental health as it makes us feel pressured, out of control, and constantly stressed.

Managing your finances properly, whether you have a lot of money or a little, can help you to feel much more in control of your life and positive about your future. So what are some simple ways you can start to take control?

One of the first habits you can adopt is #mindfulspending. More and more common is the phenomenon of slowly building up debt or sliding into your overdraft over time rather than due to a sudden large spend.

This can be controlled by adopting mindful spending, an impulse control technique that curbs your unnecessary spending. Whenever you are about to make a purchase, check in with yourself before paying – can I afford this item? Will this item serve a purpose? Would I still want to make this purchase in 24 hours? Asking yourself questions such as these will help you to control impulsive spending and stop you from spiraling further into debt.

There are other more practical methods you can use to help with your spending habits as well. For example, making yourself a budget – even a fairly rough one – can have a tangible effect on your spending habits. Many of us succumb to spending more than we can afford simply because we don’t have a clear idea of how much we can afford. 

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If you work this out for yourself, it will give you a clear mental boundary of how much you can spend each week or month. Another thing you can do is to activate the option of having your bank balance visible on your phone screen as a tangible reminder of how much money you have at one time.

Experiencing debt is much more common than you might expect, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Using a few simple tips like these can be a great start to getting your finances back under control.