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A growing number of American teenagers are coping with mental health problems. According to data from the National Mental Health Institute,about 6.3 million teens have had an anxiety disorder. Apart from anxiety, young people are also dealing with depression, feelings of isolation, andare having suicidal thoughts. Mental health problems not only impact those who are affected by it—it can affect relationships, performance in school or work, and it can also negatively impact a person’s finances. Moreover, having debt and financial problems can create stress and result in other mental health problems in the future. Here’s how mental health problems can affect your finances.
You can develop a spending addiction
It’s normal to feel better after treating yourself to a new pair of jeans or several tubes of lipstick. But if you regularly spend money to make yourself feel good, it can ruin your financial life.Compulsive buying disorder or CBD is actually a serious medical condition, but other people trivialize it and celebrate the fact that they’re shopaholics. Studies have shown that compulsive shoppers try to change their mood or improve their self-image by obtaining material things. While they may feel good after making a purchase, the high soon wears off and shoppers soon experience regret.
You may neglect to pay your debts or hide your debt from your loved ones
You’ve heard about women hiding their credit card debt from their spouse, but even some teens with mental health problems keep their parents in the dark when it comes to their debt. Some even neglect to pay off their debts and use the money to purchase frivolous things. Keep in mind that it’s important topay off your student loansand your credit card debt to maintain a good credit history. Having bad credit may not seem like a big deal when you’re young, but it can affect your chances of getting hired for a job, getting approved for a home or car loan, or getting a promotion in the future.
How to cope with mental health problems and make good financial decisions
Peoplecope with mental health problems in different ways. To overcome depression, anxiety, or negative feelings, it is important to seek help and find out what measures can be taken in order to regain self-confidence and happiness. Moreover, teens should find positive ways to cope with stress and anxiety to avoid making bad financial decisions.
Going to the mall may trigger your impulse to shop compulsively. Instead of window shopping, head outdoors and go for a walk or a run around the block. Any form of exercise can help to relieve stress and the endorphin boost can help you feel better and happier. You may find that you don’t need to buy another gadget or another dress to make you feel happy once you start feeling more energized and confident due to regular workouts.
Make a budget
Ask your parents for help onhow to make a budgetand plan on sticking to it. Creating a budget helps ensure that you will always have money to spend on the things that you truly need and the things that are important to you. Sticking to a budget also keeps you out of debt. If you’re currently in debt, having a budget helps you work your way out of it.
If you’ve managed to stick to your budget successfully and haven’t done any compulsive shopping over a period of time, plan on rewarding yourself for a job well done. But instead of buying things, reward yourself with experiences. You can watch a movie with a friend, enroll in a dance class, or go on a hiking trip with your family.
If you feel that you have a spending problem due to stress, anxiety, or depression, it helps to be open and to seek help and support from your loved ones. In the end, being financially responsible at an early age can have a positive impact on your life and may help to avoid problems in the future.