Your Health And Your Debt – Is There A Connection?
Debt affects much more than just your credit score, it also can have a huge impact on your health. The stress of your financial woes can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health. Experts have made a strong connection between financial debt and poor health. In 2009 the AP/AOL survey, Debt Stress in the United States, determined adults in the United States have more debt related stress than in past years.
Let’s take a look at what the survey concluded about people who are considered to be “highly debt-stressed”:
- More than 13 times as likely than low- to no-stress people to lose sleep at night
- More than 7 times as likely to have severe anxiety
- Almost 7 times as likely to take stress out on others
- Nearly 6 times as likely to experience severe depression
- Are 4 times as likely to have ulcers or other digestive problems
- Are 2 times as likely to have heart problems and migraines
As the survey indicates, stress can often cause severe health problems. According to The American Institute of Stress, such health problems can also include things like headaches, chest pain, weight gain, frequent colds and infections and more.
How To Reduce Your Financial Stress
The good news is there are steps you can take to reduce your financial stress. Reducing your financial stress will certainly have a positive impact on your overall health. It’s often easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to get your finances under control. Let’s take a look at some of those steps:
Check Your Credit Score: The first step in managing your finances is to bite the bullet and check your credit score. When it comes to your credit score the worst thing you can do is adopt the policy “out of sight, out of mind”. Before you can get a realistic picture of where you are financially you need to know what your credit score is. From there you can make adjustments in the way you manage your money.
Reduce Your Debt: The best thing you can do for your stress level and your credit score is start reducing the amount of debt you have. Start by creating a realistic plan before you just jump in and take action. Even if your debt is credit card debt you can create a plan to eliminate that out-of-control debt once and for all.
Establish An Emergency Fund: The thought often is you can’t work on an emergency fund until you’re debt free. That’s the wrong frame of mind to have because an emergency fund can keep you from accumulating more debt. For example, if you have an emergency fund and your car breaks down then you can tap into that savings to fix your car. Without this emergency fund then you might have to reach for your credit card that is already a huge source of debt for you.
Just as exercise and a healthy diet are essential to good health, so is reducing your financial stress. Money management doesn’t come easy to everyone, but there are many online resources available to give you the tools you need to be successful. Remember, good money habits don’t just affect your bank account, they also affect your health.