I was recently checking out my blogging buddy Rachel’s planning blog at planningmindfully.com I really want to start a bullet journal but I really just don’t have the dedication to really focus on one at the moment.
I can see myself getting the fancy lerchummauhgughu journal (yes that’s me being funny of the name of the Journals they use) doing maybe one spread and then end up needing a notebook during Sunday Service to write scriptures in and miraculously God turn my bullet Journal into a bible study journal.
The Lord does work in mysterious ways.
Anyways, as I was looking through her site I came across her post, Five Ways Bullet Journals Improve Mental Health.
It really got me thinking because as I took a quick look back over my past and as I was reading I was like budgeting does a lot of these same things for me.
Truth is when people think of budgeting they often think of it in a negative manner. But what if budgeting really could improve your mental health?
I mean according to statistics 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.
First, let me tell you what a mental illness is because I don’t want to assume that you already know or that you think you know but really don’t.
Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior (or a combination of these).
And did you know that financial stress can lead to mental health issues such as depression and PTSD.
Depression, anxiety, and certain forms of psychosis are three times more likely to occur when an individual is in debt.
Now I knew financial issues could cause some serious problems, but mental health issues 3 times more likely to occur.
Becoming aware of that info, I felt it was my duty to address the issue.
Note: I have never been diagnosed with a mental health issue, but I have experienced depression, anxiety, and stress.
Ultimately this post is here to help you, the reader, use your budget to improve your life not to just better manage your finances.
How Budgets Improve Mental Health
You may find similar benefits that I experienced, or you may find completely different ones! Everyone’s financial needs and circumstances differ, but this post will share benefits people can identify with.
You learn your spending patterns and behaviors
One of the first things I noticed when I started to budget and take it seriously was my spending patterns and behaviors.
I noticed payday was the day to randomly go blow money just because I had it, although I had bills that needed to be paid.
Budgeting literally allowed me to see my behaviors and the areas I struggled with in the past financially. With my budget, I was able to budget more effectively because I knew my spending patterns and behaviors.
You can Track your Money More Easily
Have you ever thought “Where the heck is all my money going? I just got paid on Friday?”
Well, your budget helps you with that. Your budget shows you your income and your expenses. So no more wondering where it mysteriously disappeared to you have it right in front of you.
And not only does it allow you to track your money but it also allows you to track your progress. So maybe you have noticed that you have been able to save $200, that’s a rewarding feeling and its pure motivation.
It Serves as a Reference and Guide
“Did I pay that bill this month already?” Is a question you have probably asked yourself at least once in your lifetime.
If you are anything like me, I struggle to remember all the bills I have to pay during the month. If I don’t write them down or have a way of tracking it I would most definitely be paying late fees out the wazoo.
Budgeting fixes this TREMENDOUSLY. Especially if you budget paycheck-to-paycheck.
Not only will your budget serve as a reference to what you have paid and what you need to pay, but it will guide you.
Everyone should have some sort of financial goals and a budget is what guides you to them. Kind of like a map directing you to financial freedom.
Once you start budgeting frequently you will see everything fall into place. Let’s just say progression financially will no longer seem like the impossible once a budget comes on the scene.
Have you ever been doing something that seemed to be good but you just needed to be able to customize it to make it tailored to you to take it from good to PERFECT!
That’s budgeting, it’s a good concept but it has to be tailored to you to make it GREAT.
You know how I was talking about setting financial goals well this is where customizing your budget comes into place.
You can customize your budget to meet any need or goal you have.
For example, let’s say you have a goal of saving $1,000 this year. That’s about $84 a month you need to put into your savings to reach your goal at the end of the year. (I would just say $100 a month so that way you go above and beyond).
You would simply customize your budget to include savings $84, so that could be broken up in between pays or taken from one pay, whatever is most convenient for you and your situation.
That’s the great thing about budgets there is no ONE budget fits all. Everbody is different and have things that work and don’t work for them. But the budgeting concept should be the same. To help you grow financially.
Gives You Peace of Mind
This is by far the MOST important benefit budgeting has allotted me.
When you are stressing over how you’re going to be able to pay bills and having panic and anxiety attacks because you are overwhelmed with your financial situation something has to change.
I used to carry a huge stress over my finances. Because at a pretty young age I dug myself into a pretty deep financial hole.
But as I became more INTENTIONAL about where I wanted to see myself financially and the goals I had I was then able to relieve that stress.
And budgeting was able to do that for me.
Let’s Get Real
Budgeting takes work and a real commitment. If you don’t do the work, you will not reap the benefits.
Financial issues and stress are real and it’s a serious problem for our society as a whole.
Financial stress can affect nearly every facet of your life. From your marriage (relationships) to your health.
Here are some conditions that can be caused or worsened by financial stress:
- Heart Disease/Attack
- Weight Gain/Loss
- Eating Disorders
- High Blood Pressure
- Substance Abuse
You need to understand that you CAN do something about it and for your sake (and in most cases your family’s sake) you MUST.
So why not start with something as a budget if you haven’t already.
Be PROACTIVE, if you need help financially and need to talk I’m here, send me an email, I would love to hear from you.
Check out some of these other posts to get you on the right path financially:
- Why I budget Paycheck to Paycheck
- 7 Bank Accounts Every Family Needs
- How to start an Emergency Fund
- How to Organize your Finances
- Ultimate Guide to the Cash Envelope System
Have you found using a budget helps with your mental health? Have you experienced different benefits in your daily living? I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments!
And if you are into bullet journals or apart of the bujo community check out my friend Rachel over at Planningmindfully.com she has an awesome blog. And the great thing about bullet journals is that you can even include a budget section.
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