15 Ways Money Affects Mental Health

People love money, but there’s a reason it’s the second most common argument that leads married people to get divorced, families to split apart, and friends to drop each other like it’s hot.

According to a Business Insider survey, only 47% of those respondents aged 18-34 said they’d discuss money with their friends, which drops to just 25% for those aged 55 and over. Money has both positive and negative aspects. When it comes to mental health, there are some significant markers for how finances can affect mental well-being.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Upset couple seeing bill
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Money problems are never easy to deal with, and the more prolonged the financial issues, the more susceptible people become to mental health setbacks, including depression and anxiety.

2. Self-Esteem and Confidence

Stressed woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Both self-esteem and confidence can take a nosedive if a person is stressing over money. About 65% of women and 54% of men worry about money.

3. Numero Uno

Stressed couples discussing tax
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

According to a CreditWise survey, financial strain is the number one stressor in the United States. The survey reports that 73% of Americans are worried about their finances.

4. Costing Lives

Emotionally Stressed woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A 2023 survey from Health.com reports financial issues cause individuals to be as much as 20 times more likely to attempt to take their own lives because of their debt.

5. Empathy

Friend consoling
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

More than one study has shown a correlation between money and empathy. Those with a lower economic status are better at reading facial expressions than their wealthier counterparts.

6. Bad Money Cycles

Couples discussing income
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s easy to feel stuck when trying to deal with money and mental health. Poor mental health can make for poor money management. In turn, trying to deal with money and debt issues can contribute to poor mental health, which cycles right back to poor money management.

7. Substance Abuse

Man smoking
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Multiple studies have shown that wealth and addiction are connected. Children who come from wealthy families are more susceptible to addiction and abuse issues, which can lead to or exacerbate mental health struggles.

8. Stigmas Stick

Asian man stressed
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Because of the stigma tied to debt, as well as mental health issues, people who are struggling with these issues are less likely to seek help for either issue.

9. Long-Term Problems

Woman in depression
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Just as mental health issues last longer for people with money problems, people with money problems also struggle with common mental health issues, like depression, for up to 18 months longer than people who aren’t having financial difficulties.

10. Consistent Employment

Woman working in different devices stressed in office
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Adding to the financial strain of those suffering from mental health concerns is the difficulty they may have in keeping consistent employment. The more they stress over money, the harder it is to be motivated to work, exacerbating their money situation and high-stress levels.

11. Government Assistance

Woman applying for government aid
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In the United Kingdom, one-third of adults aged 16-64 (35%) claim housing benefits, and nearly half (47%) who receive some out-of-work benefit share a common mental health issue, such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder.

12. Impulse Spending

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Undoubtedly, mental well-being correlates well with financial well-being, especially for those who suffer from impulsivity in finances. If someone is unwell mentally, their money-management issues escalate, particularly when it comes to impulse spending.

93% spent more than usual
92% found it more challenging to make financial decisions
74% put off paying bills
71% avoided dealing with creditors
56% took out a loan they wouldn’t have otherwise applied for.
These numbers show the strong connection between mental health and financial stability.

13. Asking For Help

Man with therapist
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Three-quarters of those polled exhibited difficulty dealing with essential service workers. This scenario correlates with issues related to seeking help for money management concerns. People who suffer from mental health problems may close themselves off, making their financial concerns that much harder to tackle.

14. Education

Stressed teen in library
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Having a solid understanding of money management, common sense financial actions, and debt-handling tactics can go a long way in helping to lower stress and increase mental health. The more tools you have to work with, the better your results, and when it comes to money and mental health, this is especially true.

15. Guilt and Shame

Mother with son feeling guilty
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

For those who struggle with solid money choices due to mental health issues, a sense of overwhelming guilt or shame can accompany any financial decision that feels too important to handle. Making a decent decision can feel wrong, causing even more stress.

Getting Help

Woman speaking therapist
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While those who suffer from mental health issues may not want to seek help with their money problems, getting some therapy may be the best financial decision they can make. It can help keep the worst of their symptoms at bay. Medications and even the act of sharing with someone who doesn’t know the person well may be enough to help alleviate their symptoms and get them back on track financially.

12 Keys to Embracing a Frugal Lifestyle

woman reviewing her budget
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

To some, living a frugal lifestyle might be sessions of extreme couponing. For others, never paying full price for anything could be a commitment. But what does it mean to live a frugal lifestyle? Are there general rules to follow, or is there an assortment of ideas you cherry-pick from? The first step is to understand what living frugally really means.

12 Keys to Embracing a Frugal Lifestyle

17 Sneaky Money-Saving Hacks You Can’t Afford to Miss

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Making minor adjustments to your spending behavior can lead to substantial savings in the long run. However, it’s crucial to identify which habits genuinely contribute to these savings and which do not. One user inquired about the most effective money-saving practice, prompting the compilation of a list featuring the top 17 choices. These habits have proven to be instrumental in helping individuals accumulate significant savings over time.

17 Sneaky Money-Saving Hacks You Can’t Afford to Miss

Author: Rebecca Holcomb

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Lifestyle, Food, and Travel


Rebecca Holcomb is an experienced content creator and journalist with over a decade of experience. She currently covers trending topics for Wealth of Geeks with a strong focus on Lifestyle, Food, and Travel. Rebecca also holds a social media marketing certification from Coursera for Facebook (Meta).