No matter the age, financial concerns bring stress to our lives. According to the American Psychological Association, 64 percent of adults cite money as a major stress trigger. And the recent inflation has only intensified financial stress for many, motivating some to start budgeting.
A budget is a simple plan that breaks down your monthly income and expenses. A solid budget will categorize your expenses, so you can see exactly where your income goes after paying for all the necessities — a mortgage, rent, insurance, transportation, groceries, etc. Your budget should also include the nonessentials, like dining and fun experiences.
Budgeting gives you a useful overview of where you money is going every month, so you can take the steps to control it. According to a study by Northwestern Mutual, 92 percent of Americans over 18 said nothing made them happier or more confident in life than when their finances are in order. And budgeting can even give your health a boost.
When you stick to a budget, you'll feel less stressed and anxious about finances, improving both your mental and physical health. Check out 5 ways budgeting can benefit your well-being.
1. It Reduces Physical Stress
As we just mentioned, staying on top of your finances can help you feel more relaxed. Budgeting can also help you feel more in control of your financial well-being.
You're in charge of how much money you save and how much you spend. When a budget is done well, you’ll always know where you stand with long and short-term goals, which can ease an anxious mind.
When you have a budget planned out, it can help diminish the stress response to more manageable levels, minimizing physical stress symptoms such as stomachaches, muscle tension, and high blood pressure.
2. It Can Improve Time Management
It's easy to say "yes" to everything. Of course you want to attend all of your friends' social events, parties, and shows — but it isn't always the best option for your wallet.
When you stick with a budget, sometimes you have to say "no" to activities, plans, and opportunities — and that's ok. We're often too busy with double-booked schedules anyway. And we want to avoid burnout at all costs. So unloading your schedule, even for financial reasons, can reduce that stress and guilt, encouraging you to say “no" more often.
Budgeting forces you to be mindful and selective with not only your spending, but your time. And it helps you focus on your long-term goals and what's truly valuable to you.
3. It May Support Immunity
Reducing stress can help reduce pressure on your immune system. When you feel the stress of financial pressure, your body moves into fight-or-flight (survival) mode, directing energy away from your immune system and toward more critical functions.
Once your survival mode is turned off, your body returns to its calmer state, and those less-emergent bodily functions, like immunity, kick back into gear.
It's no surprise that when you’re less stressed, you feel and look healthier. And bonus – you aren’t getting sick as often.
4. It Can Fund Your Healthcare
If you set aside money every month for activities and appointments that are good for your health, your budget can truly give you a healthier lifestyle.
You can budget for gym memberships, yoga classes, therapy sessions, preventative care appointments, healthy groceries, medication, massages, chiropractic care and more.
These activities will push you to make health and wellness a priority in your budget, allowing you to spend less on unnecessary items and improve your well-being at the same time.
5. It Will Help You Build the Life You Want
When your budget reflects your personal values, it can help you lead a happier life. A study from Psychological Science suggested that money can actually improve happiness when the spending aligns with the buyer’s personality.
The study found that introverted people were more likely to be happier after spending money on an activity or hobby they could enjoy alone, while extroverted types reported feeling happier after spending money on social experiences.
You also don't want to create a budget that's based on what you think you can live without. If you love your daily coffee runs, then build them into your budget — you know you’re going to end up at the local coffee shop anyway.
Planning your budget around the life you want will ensure it’s also the life you can comfortably afford. When you cut things out that are important to you, like your monthly facials or hair appointments, you'll find yourself unhappy, and going over budget.
The beauty of a budget is that it'll show you the luxuries you can’t afford, motivating you to cut where needed so you can keep what's most important to you.
We hope these budgeting tips will help you stay financially healthy and improve your overall well-being. At OnSite Wellness, health and wellness is our specialty.
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