Top ways to boost your financial wellness

Concerned about your financial wellness? Check out these expert tips on how to improve your money matters while boosting your health.

Let’s face it. For most people, getting your finances sorted sounds more like a headache than a good time.

But did you know getting those money matters under control not only helps your hip pocket – it can also improve your health?

Ways financial health impacts mental health

Financial concerns can often lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.

One study found adults in debt were three times more likely to experience mental health problems, compared to those who did not owe money.

Financial instability has been linked to a number of health issues such as migraines, higher diastolic blood pressure, digestive issues and even increased inflammation.

Ongoing financial strain can lead to sleep disturbances, which in turn can negatively impact your health.

Money can also affect relationships – financial stress is one of the leading causes of relationship breakdown, according to Relationships Australia.

Here are some expert-backed tips to take control of your money.

Redefine your relationship with money

Behavioural money coach and former financial adviser, Lea Clothier encourages people to consider their thoughts and behaviours towards finances, especially any long held limiting beliefs.

“Money can be empowering,” Lea says.

“When we are in control of it, we can start to work towards our goals and actually achieve them.”

Lea believes true wealth is not just about how much cash you have.

“My values are around health, relationships, connections with loved ones and friendships, and the freedom to do the things I want to do, like go to the beach, dance or have nice food,” Lea says.

“So whenever I feel like I have those things in my life, I feel really wealthy.”

Ditch Buy Now, Pay Later schemes

Financial adviser, podcaster and author Victoria Devine urges people to avoid using BNPL arrangements.

“Despite their clever marketing calling to millennials to ‘treat themselves’ and buy what they can’t afford, these companies are actually wreaking havoc on the bank accounts of so many women,” Victoria says.

“We need to get back in step with the old fashioned way of purchasing where we budget and save for non-essential spends rather than buying now and dealing with the debt later.”

Intentional spending

Giving every dollar a purpose can also help avoid overspending, Lea says.

“When we align money with what we value, or with goals that we’re seeking to achieve, we can be very intentional about our spending,” Lea says.

Make super a priority

Victoria says women often neglect their superannuation because it’s a problem for “future us”.

“Take it seriously, make sure you’re being paid super and if you have a partner and are taking time out of the workforce to raise a family, ask that they make contributions to your super,” Victoria says.

“No it’s not greedy, it’s fair.”

Stress less

Lea says when we are financially stressed, we tend to make emotional, irrational decisions.

She recommends trying calming techniques.

So the idea is if you can somehow calm yourself down, through breathing or meditation, it can support you to make slower, better decisions,” Lea says.

Financial education

The more we talk about money, the more we learn, Victoria says.

“There has long been a stigma – especially for women – that discussing finances is unbecoming and even a little tacky, but there is nothing tacky about financial education,” she says.

Victoria recommends chatting to your friends candidly about finance.

“Ask them their money story, chat about your salaries and compare your goals – not only will you learn more, but you’ll also have a finance friend to keep you on track with your own goals.”

Ask for help with your money

If you’re struggling with debt, both experts recommend getting help.

“Debt is often associated with emotions like guilt, shame, regret, and anxiety,” Lea says.

“One of the best things you can do is get support, see a financial counsellor or just talk to someone about your situation.”

Victoria recommends contacting a financial counsellor from the National Debt Helpline, who will help you sort out your situation free of charge.

Financial apps and podcasts

Financial Mindfulness app

She’s on the Money podcast

The Pineapple Project podcast

Written by Bianca Carmona.