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How does managing my personal finances affect my mental health?

This article was translated from our Spanish edition.

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In Mexico, personal finances are closely related to mental health, both for better and for worse. Poor income management, for example, can lead to stress, sadness, anguish and, in the worst case, suicide.

The Ministry of Health reported that in 2020 there were 3,332 suicides in the country. Financial education has a great relevance in this mental health problem.

Data from the financial coach , Coru, indicate that factors such as income level, age and even gender largely determine the way in which people manage their income, as well as the perception they have about their financial situation.

In this sense, men are the ones who stand out, since at least 3 out of 10 have considered suicide as a way out of their financial problems. In addition, 27% are men who spend more compared to their income level, indicating financial mismanagement.

“Personal finances generate various emotional impacts, not only on the person, but also affect the whole family. Financial health and emotional health follow the same guideline, having healthy finances represents one less concern, and financial independence allows you to make better decisions with money ”, explains Fernando García, Head of Growth at Coru, financial coach.

How else does finances affect mental health?

According to Coru, this is how finances impact the mood of Mexicans:

  • 79% consider that their finances control their life

  • 89% feel sad if they can’t afford something

  • 85% spend a good part of the day thinking about their finances

  • 60% have had discussions with their loved ones about money

  • 78% feel anxious if asked to keep track of their expenses

  • 88% report feeling concerned when looking at their savings account

The greater the financial lack of control, the greater the feeling of guilt

According to Coru, 18% of Mexicans have many difficulties to cover their basic expenses for the month, such as paying for electricity, water, gas or rent. In addition, 74% experienced a reduction in their income in the last 12 months.

This situation could lead to an increase in the effects on mental health, if action is not taken on the matter, such as the creation of solutions that allow people to have better control of their financial life and, with it, an improvement in their state. of spirit and in their quality of life.

Almost 9 out of 10 Mexican men and women feel stressed when they think about their financial situation. However, at the same time, 45% of them go shopping when they feel sad, creating an artificial reward mechanism that, however, is usually temporary. And it is that, finally, after making the unnecessary expenses and seeing the account statement, the feeling of guilt arrives and this can become a vicious circle.

Coru reveals that at least 82% of people who buy something unnecessary feel guilty, due to the impact that this expense represents on their financial stability.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 29, and situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate this problem, the Survey on Youth of Latin America and the Caribbean conducted by the United Nations (UN), which states that 64% of the people of that age range declared to be concerned about the financial situation of their family and 45% about their financial situation. personal.

In this sense, it is important that society as a whole carry out solid strategies to strengthen financial education, particularly focused on the most susceptible population groups, in order to provide them with the necessary tools to have healthy finances.

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