Finances play a big role in a person’s stress levels. Excessive stress can lead to depression, and depression can cause unhealthy spending habits. You can stop this cycle early on by learning the right way to manage your money. Here are some money management tips to prevent depression symptoms.
Assess Your Income And Expenses
Before you can manage your money, you need to know how much of it you have available. This requires a thorough look at your income and monthly expenses. Figure out how much you make each month, and round down any income approximations. If you work 33-36 hours per week, use 33 weeks as an approximation for your earnings. For your bills, round the value up. If your electric bill is $200-$300, budget for $300 monthly.
Assign Bills For Each Pay Day
Missing a bill is a stressful experience. The thought of a disconnect notice in the mail is enough to spark a panic attack. To avoid this, assign bills for every payday. Make sure these correspond to the value of your paycheck. You don’t want to have $2,000 worth of bills to pay with a $1,500 paycheck.
If you have more bills due than you will make, you should pay some of those bills early. For instance, you may pay your water, cable, and electric bill on the 15th of the month before they’re due. This leaves the paycheck on the 1st free to cover your house payment. Create a schedule that keeps you on time for all of your bills, not including grace periods.
Do Not Rely On Grace Periods
Most bills will have some sort of grace period. Example: The bill is due on the 1st but is not considered late until after the 4th. Mentally, you may move the due date to the 4th because of this grace period. This is an easy way to get late fees. The grace periods are designed to give you an extra cushion in case a bill comes due on a weekend and you cannot get to the bank to access your money. Do not count on them to manage your money. You should have your bills paid well before the grace period goes into effect.
Set A Spending Limit For Yourself
This is where the real depression therapy comes into play. The excitement you feel from shopping is only temporary. The depression you feel from a high credit card bill is long term. If you allow yourself to spend whatever you want without any control, you are going to make depression symptoms worse.
Set a realistic budget for yourself that factors in the money management tips from above. If you only have $200 leftover after paying your bills and buying the essentials, then that is all you have to spend. Period. You could put that money on a prepaid debit card or deposit it into a separate account you use for personal purchases. You could also take it out in cash and keep all your cards at home when you go out. If you don’t have a way to overspend, you’re not going to.
Talk To A Counselor About Depression And Shopping Addiction
Mismanaging your money may not be the only cause of your depression. With professional depression therapy, you can identify underlying issues that affect your present-day life. If you’re dealing with shopping addiction, low self-esteem, loneliness, regret, or any other concerns, you can address those during your depression therapy. Ultimately, you will learn how to take control of your life and conquer your depression symptoms.
Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more about our depression therapy programs.