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Integrating mental health into your holistic financial plan

In the pursuit of financial wellness, it is essential to recognise the intimate connection between financial stability and mental health.

NMG Benefits experts Gary Feldman, executive head of Healthcare Consulting, and Stian De Witt, executive head of Financial Planning, share their combined expertise on the importance of integrating mental health into your holistic financial plan:

Understand the link between financial and mental wellness

Financial concerns can act as significant stressors, affecting your mental health and overall well-being. Anxiety about debt, fear of job loss, or the pressure to meet financial obligations can lead to increased stress levels. Recognising and addressing these challenges as they emerge is the first step toward achieving a balanced and healthy life.

Build a foundation: Financial literacy and budgeting

Financial literacy serves as a cornerstone for achieving financial wellness. Educate yourself on basic financial concepts, from budgeting and saving to investing and debt management. By fostering financial literacy, individuals can gain greater control over their financial situation, reducing stress and anxiety.

Access to emergency funds as a financial and emotional safety net

Establishing an emergency fund is not only a financial strategy but also a powerful emotional buffer. Knowing that you have a financial safety net in case of unexpected events provides a sense of security, easing the mental strain that financial uncertainty can bring. Aim to set aside three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account to ensure you are prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

Addressing debt and mental well-being

High levels of debt can be a source of significant stress. Develop a debt repayment plan, prioritising high-interest debts first. Seeking professional advice such as credit counselling can provide guidance on managing debt and alleviating the financial strain.

Invest for the future: A long-term mental health strategy

Investing is not just about growing wealth; it’s a long-term strategy for mental well-being. Diversify your investments to mitigate risk and align your portfolio with your financial goals. Watching your investments grow over time can instil a sense of accomplishment and financial security, positively influencing your mental state.

The role of employee assistance programmes in mental health support

Many employers offer employee assistance programmes (EAPs) as part of their benefits package. EAPs provide confidential counselling services, financial consultations and resources to help employees navigate personal and work-related challenges.

Achieving financial wellness involves more than just balancing the books – it’s about fostering a healthy relationship with money that positively influences your mental well-being. Remember, a well-balanced financial life contributes not only to economic stability but also to a happier and healthier you.

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