The correlation between your physical, mental, and emotional health is vital to consider for your finances. The effects of poor mental, emotional, and physical health can have a massive impact on the amount of money you make. If you are not caring for yourself, this could lead to serious financial problems. Want to know how your health affects your finances? We’ve got plenty of info for you!
How does financial status affect health?
Before we get into how your health affects your finances, let’s talk about how financial status affects health overall.
There are studies that show that your financial situation can indeed impact your health. In fact, your socioeconomic status can affect your health, the health care you receive, and even impact your life expectancy.
Does wealth affect health?
So is it really true? Does wealth affect health?
It absolutely does.
And vise versa too! If you’re constantly sick and need medical support, that could affect your finances. And if your finances are in disarray, that could keep you sick.
But on the other hand, if you can take care of your basic needs, and even some wants, you’re less likely to feel stress or chronic symptoms like headaches and back pain (thus saving money on doctor’s visits).
Does health lead to wealth?
What if you’re super fit and have no issues. Does health lead to wealth?
It can play a part, yes.
Studies have shown a positive correlation between a higher income and good health and higher income. When someone has poor health, they have a higher chance of developing diseases like diabetes, or mental health disorders like depression.
Financial Stress Symptoms
Want to know how your health affects your finances? Are you actually being impacting by this phenomenon?
Ask yourself this…
Do you show any of these financial stress symptoms?
- Anxiety (specifically around finances)
- Difficulty turning off or sleeping
- Excessive weight gain or weight loss
- Poor coping skills
- Panic attacks (especially when thinking or talking about money)
- Consistent Burnout
If you said yes to some or most of these, your finances could be playing a huge part in the way you feel.
Of course, this isn’t to say that people with healthy finances are also healthy. However, if you feel like you can never get ahead, you may be in the vicious cycle of bouncing back and forth between your health and finances.
What causes financial stress?
What causes financial stress, and does your health impact if you have financial stress?
Many things can happen to cause financial stress.
- You may lose a job.
- Or you may have to move across the country.
But the same goes for your health. When you’re sick or need to be in the hospital often, you may not be able to hold down a full-time or part-time job.
You may have so many appointments that you can’t be on a set schedule. Or, maybe the mental toll of constantly running to the doctor affects you long-term.
The fact is, anyone can experience financial stress, and it can be short or long-term.
If you lose a job and get a new one within a few weeks, the financial stress isn’t as bad as if you had to go months without income. But it’s still stressful in the moment.
The key is to focus on what is causing financial stress and try to fix it or learn to not let it affect everything around you. When you’re constantly stressed out about money, that can lead to other issues (like those symptoms I mentioned earlier).
Now that you know how your health affects your finances, let’s talk about how finances affect your mental health and how your mentality can also affect your money.
Depression and Anxiety
Mental health is often intertwined with our financial health. Depression and anxiety can lead to problems making decisions, poor money management, and even hoarding. The American Psychological Association showed that people with higher levels of debt were more likely to have symptoms of depression.
Depression and anxiety impact your finances primarily by affecting your ability to focus and make decisions.
- Paying bills,
- balancing your checkbook,
- saving for retirement,
- or buying health insurance…
…It all becomes more complex when you’re depressed.
And, it leads you to take risks such as borrowing money from friends or family members who don’t charge interest or asking an employer if you can work part-time so you won’t be obliged to miss work due to depression symptoms.
You can, however, seek professional treatment for depression and anxiety.
Therapy, medication, or both can help you feel better, so you’re ready to take on financial challenges. In addition, Cigna Insurance caters for mental health coverage, and you may be eligible for a mental health waiver that you can add to your policy.
Taking Time off Work When Sick
Taking time off work when sick has a massive impact on your finances. If you are ill and have to take time off work, you are not making any money. It can cause financial stress, especially if you don’t have any paid sick days.
In addition, you may have to use your vacation days or personal days to stay home from work, which means that you will not be able to use those days later on.
All of this can add up to lost wages and a lot of financial stress. Therefore, it’s essential to try to get better as soon as possible so that you can resume work and start earning income again.
If you are chronically ill or have a long-term illness, taking time off from work may become a regular occurrence. It can be very difficult financially, as you may not earn a steady income. In this case, it is essential to have a financial cushion that can help you get by during these challenging times.
No one wants to think the worse. But unfortunately, you’re more likely to have suicidal thoughts if your income is lower or if you have a lot of debt. And, if you attempt suicide, that just adds more to what you owe due to in-patient or out-patient facilities for mental health.
It’s a cycle that needs to be broken, or one (or both) of those parts of your life will be affected.
Besides your mentality, your finances affect your physical health too. Let’s talk about that.
Muscle tension refers to the stiffness you feel in your body, especially after you have been resting or sitting for too long. You may experience this as a feeling that you can’t relax and always need to be on the go. This tension doesn’t just affect how you look and make you uncomfortable.
It also affects:
- Your breathing
- Your digestion
- The health of your muscles themselves
It all adds up to affect your mood, making you more anxious than usual, which will likely cause emotional stress such as depression and anxiety.
All these affect your finances by costing you time off work, increased health insurance premiums, and even long-term care insurance.
You can relieve muscle tension by doing things you enjoy, like yoga or taking a walk outside. You can also do muscle-relaxing exercises several times each day for at least five minutes to help you unwind throughout the day.
Raised Diastolic Blood Pressure
If you have cardiovascular disease, you’re not alone. In fact, about one in three American adults has hypertension. This common condition can lead to severe health problems if left untreated.
High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because many people don’t know they have it until it’s too late.
Nonetheless, you can take measures to lower your blood pressure and improve your health.
One crucial step is to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as…
- eating a balanced diet,
- getting regular exercise,
- and quitting smoking.
Raised diastolic blood pressure significantly impacts your finances because you are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.
All of these health conditions can lead to expensive medical bills, which can stress you out and cause even more issues. You may also need to take time off work for treatment, and you may even need long-term care if things get too serious.
It’s not uncommon for you to pay more when you are in poor health or have ongoing medical issues.
The cost of your premiums may increase, you might need a higher deductible, and some plans won’t cover you at all if you’re sick with certain conditions.
Suppose you know that you will be paying more due to illness or disease. In that case, you must plan financially by saving extra money every month into an emergency fund.
An emergency fund an help when…
- your out-of-pocket expenses are more significant than usual because of additional doctor visits,
- medications taken regularly on top of what was prescribed initially before switching doctors/specialists,
- supplements being necessary to get better results from treatment,
- and so on…
On some occasions, you may even have to take time off work to focus on getting better. If you don’t have any sick days saved up or if you’ve already used them all, you may find yourself struggling financially.
It is another reason why having an emergency fund can be so important; it gives you a cushion that can assist you in getting through a tough time without adding extra stress.
Now, is it possible to improve financial health and your well-being at the same time?
Let’s talk about how you can do that.
Ask For Help
First, you can’t get better if you don’t have the opportunity to. So don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Struggling to pay bills? There are many resources to help.
- Need help around the house to keep your health intact? Ask for help from friends and family.
There is nothing wrong with needing help from time to time, especially if you’re trying to get your health or finances on track.
Take Care Of Your Basic Needs
Remember, you can’t fill from an bottomless cup. So be sure to take care of your basic needs. Food, water, and shelter are important.
Being able to decompress and take time off is essential for your mental health. And, taking care of your health by eating right and exercising regularly are important too.
Treat Yourself Every Now & Then
Want to know what happens when you deprive yourself of your wants for too long?
- You’ll either binge (like overspending money when you finally get some)
- or, give up.
Instead of reaching one of the two extremes, treat yourself every now and then.
You could do something for free that just makes you happy, or spend a little money on things that you’ve been wanting. Of course, everything in moderation, but depriving yourself constantly only hurts you in the long run.
Long-term care coverage is a type of insurance you can purchase that gives you a daily benefit to cover certain costs associated with your health. It is typically used for those who need assistance in their day-to-day living tasks, such as bathing and other activities you would rely on help from someone else for.
It benefits you by giving you peace of mind knowing you do not have to worry about the financial consequences should something happen where you cannot perform these necessities without assistance.
It has a positive impact on your finances because you won’t have to worry about how you will pay for the care you need once you reach your retirement years.
Instead, you can focus on other aspects of life that bring you joy and happiness, knowing that all of these costs are taken care of so there is no added stress in an already challenging time in your life. When you do everything correctly you’ll always have peace and be more productive in your tasks.
How Your Health Affects Your Finances – In Summary
Well that was a lot of information! Now you know how your health affects your finances and how your finances can actually hinder your health too!
Your finances and your health are interconnected in more ways than you may realize. When you are unhealthy, both your mental and physical health can suffer. It can harm your finances in several ways.
Make sure you take steps to maintain your health — both physically and mentally — so that you can keep your finances healthy as well.
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.