Since entering the workplace, I have realised the importance of money management. It is key to financial well-being, providing a roadmap for a secure and comfortable future. The transition from school to a career can be a pivotal moment and the relationship between money and mental health becomes increasingly evident. Our knowledge and attitude directly impacts our behaviour with money. With planning ahead and setting budgets I feel more in control and able to do the things that I want to do. However, this has not always been the case. Financial help was not readily available to me at school and left me worried about my future and how I would be able to afford things. Credit cards, loans etc. were almost taboo topics despite this being a huge worry for most students. Talking to people I trust and recently attending the Mental Health UK Me & Money workshop has really helped me transform my relationship with money.
The workshop was especially helpful because it reassured me that these worries are in fact common and expected. The fear of missing out, not keeping up with the latest trends, worrying about our families financial struggles and many more are just a few of the reoccurring thoughts that young people may experience. Leaving school can often exacerbate these feelings as our newfound independence brings financial responsibilities. The main takeaway for me has been prioritising needs over wants and making informed financial decisions. By taking small steps towards improving my relationship with money I have found in turn reduces my stress.
Tips for young people struggling with money management:
1. Seek help.
Don’t hesitate to seek help from financial professionals, mentors, or a trusted individual. Confiding in others with your worries can really alleviate some of the stress. Remember that they would have gone through the same thing and learning from others experiences can provide valuable insights.
2. Educate yourself.
Setting time aside to learn about financial concepts such as interest rates, taxes and loans can really save yourself future worry and allow you to make informed decisions in the future.
3. Create a budget.
Setting a realistic budget can allow you to save a little each month whilst spending on the necessities and activities too. Living within your means, not impulse spending and shopping smart are a few ways to stick to your budget throughout the month (although this is often easier said than done).
If you are currently struggling with your mental health due to money, please know you are not alone. Seeking guidance and making small changes can really help get you on track. Attending the Money & Me workshop has really helped me put these ideas into practice and I would recommend it to anyone who may benefit from some guidance.