“Money is the root of all evil” You’ve probably heard this saying many times in your life. In fact, it is a misquote from the bible. This passage, based on a letter from the Apostle Paul to a young pastor named Timothy says, “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” Without the word “love,” the verse takes on a completely different meaning and gives the impression that money in and of itself is evil.
Money isn’t evil, it’s necessary. For those of us with anxiety it can be one of the things that cripple us. The worst part is, it’s not just people with Anxiety but many out there are having issues with money. Given the situation with Covid over the last 6 months for some things have become extremely dyer. Not having enough money is stressful, having enough money is stressful, money is stressful ! As individuals with anxiety we have to talk about it. We have to deal with this reality of modern society, to be secure you need income and financial resources.
To be blunt many people spend more time on their star bucks’ orders then they do on their personal finance. As individuals with anxiety we can’t do that. We have the added stressor of being pulled into the vacuum/pit of anxiety on a moment’s notice. It’s random for many of us, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks you name it. Money is just another trigger, but by addressing it we can minimally have a better relationship with our own personal economy. I am imploring you to talk about money. Parents, siblings and spouses are great choices for people to talk to.
If you are having money issues, having someone to talk to about it can be the difference between deep anxiety and survival. Imagine for a moment you aren’t taking care of your finances and your car needs a huge repair and you can’t afford it. That might be enough to really send you over the edge. Your dog suddenly has a huge change in disposition and needs emergency surgery for a blockage, can you afford it? These things happen, when I had my first apartment many years ago I was living paycheck to paycheck. I had $18 bucks at the end of the month once, I put $10 of gas in my car and had $8 to eat with for a week. Granted this was a long time ago but it was a major struggle and I was triggered the whole week. EVERYTHING set me off, not good.
“Okay Karac, if you are so smart where do I start?”
The first thing you do is write out your monthly financial plan. No you dont need a professional, you can do it. Total income on top and then list out all the things you spend money on below, EVERYTHING. Subtract all of those expenses from the income and the result is? Are you negative? Positive? Either way that’s where you start. If you are negative you clean up your spending, positive you save the excess into an “emergency fund” and build that up to 3-6 months of the total expenses you listed in the exercise above.
As individuals with anxiety and various mental health issues money and having a good relationship with money is even more important to us. This can be an ongoing nagging stressor that makes everything else blow up. Its a constant trigger if we dont get our heads around it. Take the time, 15 minutes a week (come on you can do that) and start to educate yourself on your personal economy.
Start now, and this investment of time will pay dividends later. If you can get to a good place with your relationship with money and your personal economic situation this will make your journey with Mental Health and Anxiety smoother.