Whether you have a lot or a little, money features in our everyday lives and the effect it has on our mental wellbeing is discussed far too infrequently. We blame it on ‘being British’ — but it’s time we stopped hiding and start breaking down the barriers around money talk. One of the main drivers for launching my platform, This Girl Talks Money, is the lack of open discussion about money and the scarcity of accessible, simple information. Being a textbook millennial, I care about making a positive change in the way we approach conversations about money and improving access to knowledge to enable every person to feel more confident with money.
My own experience with money has been much like many young people. Growing up, my attitude towards spending was centred mainly on clothes and money was merely a facilitator for fueling my shoe obsession as a teenager. When I began earning during my final years at school, I was lucky to be in a position where I had minimal expenses and took a very short term approach to money, saving only for expensive handbags and holidays. Only in my mid-twenties did I begin to want to learn about money management and I self-taught a lot of what I know, through books and online publications (mostly aimed at my parents’ age group).
My approach to money and the mentality I have towards money has been critical in my decision to leave a high paying secure career path to pursue a more creative, less reliable freelance career. I can’t pretend that at times, I often envy the position I could have been in financially had I stayed in an environment which was, unfortunately, damaging my mental health. One thing I often discuss on my channels comes from my first-hand experience: money really is not an end goal but a tool and should be treated as one. The trouble here is that using a tool requires a level of knowledge which isn’t being taught, so money is left to be figured out alone.
“money really is not an end goal but a tool and should be treated as one.”
Fear surrounding money and scarcity of funds, most commonly due to a lack of knowledge about personal finance, taxes and all things money-related, frequently results in decision-making based purely on finances. Only when people see their bank accounts looking healthy but they feel unfulfilled do they realise that they have been working for money; money hasn’t been working hard for them. From my experience, understanding the role of money and how to control and maximise my own finances regardless of income has been essential to my money mindset and is something I feel every individual can benefit from. In a time where our mental health is being put under pressure from all directions, empowering each other and ourselves to manage money confidently is one clear way we can help protect our wellbeing.
In support of World Mental Health Day this Thursday, B-Social are donating £5 to Mind for every new app user. Follow the link here to sign up now.