The Link between Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health

Many factors play a role in our mental health. Some of the most common contributors are money problems. Can we pay our bills? How will I afford the rent next month? Not only does financial stress negatively impact a person’s self-talk, mood and mindset, but the resulting worry often makes it even harder to think clearly and make smart financial decisions. If you suffer from mental health concerns, it can be hard to get out of the rut, especially when money is concerned. Here are some strategies to get on top of your financial worries and hopefully return to a positive mental state – you’re not alone!

Understanding Mental Health

Mental health can be a difficult topic to discuss as people experience it very differently. A positive state of mental health means that you can successfully cope with the stress of everyday life, operate at your best and contribute to society, in the ways you want to. Everyone feels a range of emotions, and it’s normal to feel down and sad, just as it is to feel happy and excited. The problem arises when negative thoughts control your daily life. Fortunately, mental health has gained societal acceptance. There are many ways to improve your situation. As a starting point, it’s critical to understand the contributors to your mental state. So how does your financial wellbeing play a role in your mental health and wellbeing?

Financial Issues Can Hamper Your Mental Health

Unfortunately, the events of 2021 to date have led to a serious increase in financial difficulties for many. An economic recession has meant a drop in hours or a pay cut for some. For others, their jobs have entirely disappeared, and if not, redundancy may be just around the corner. For businesses, lockdowns and restrictions have ensured their future is anything but certain. Financial anxiety is understandably rising as a result, putting many of us at a high risk of developing mental health problems.

Our state of mental health is strongly linked to our perception of financial safety, with each heavily influencing one another. International studies have found that over 60% of those over eighteen have felt an impact on their mental health due to monetary concerns at some point in their life – it’s safe to say the prevalence of financial stress isn’t any better in Australia. To take control, we need to acknowledge that financial issues damage our mental health, and that poor mental health makes it harder to manage money. Once we do this, we can take meaningful action to improve our relationship with our finances!

Mental Health Can, in Return, Hamper Your Ability to Manage Money

Poor mental health can influence your ability to manage your finances in many ways. You might find it difficult to concentrate on essential decisions or understand all the necessary information when it comes to managing your money. Even if you do have enough money to pay your obligations, just being in debt may weigh heavily on your mind, leading to anxiety and further distractions.

Another common behaviour of those struggling with mental health is impulse buying (with money they don’t have) in an effort to improve their mood. This activity is usually ineffective, and later met with regret as the reality of poor decision sets in. Altogether, it’s easy to see how a negative mental state leads to a dysfunctional and volatile relationship with money!

Don’t Get Stuck in the Vicious Cycle – it is Never Too Late to Turn Things Around

Although it might seem tough when you are feeling down, there are always opportunities to get your finances back on track. It’s all about making a positive first step and ensuring you don’t make the same mistakes in future. Here are four actions you can take to defeat financial stress once and for all:

  1. Budget. If you haven’t already, create a budget for your household spending so you can see what money’s coming in and what’s going out. Even a basic plan can help give you a feeling of control.
  2. Cut credit cards and payday loans. If possible, consider completely eliminating your credit cards and reliance on payday loans. This removes the temptation to use them, along with the stress that comes from managing them. Paytime, an Earned Wage Access app, or sometimes referred to as same day pay app, can help you cover any expenses in between your paydays without relying on external debt
  3. Prioritise savings. Once you’ve set up a budget and weaned yourself of your credit cards and other debt, try to make some space for regular savings. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just get started!
  4. Address your mental health directly. Do what you need to do to help your mental wellbeing. Exercise, socialising and mindfulness can help. If you need further assistance, make sure to seek professional help – it’s worth it!


Understanding how our financial situation can impact our mental health is critical. While everything might be going well for you now, it pays to know what to do if times suddenly get tough. If you want to see your company help its employees improve their financial wellbeing and reduce financial stress, there are options. Paytime offers a mobile app that enables flexible on-demand access to earned wages – helping to reduce their reliance on credit. Refer your Employer to Paytime today!