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Can Finances Affect Your Health?

Updated: Apr 23

If you are like me, there has been a point in your life when you felt stressed about an upcoming credit card bill. Or trying to figure out how to pay for an upcoming expense. I remember being a new high school graduate and receiving mail for opening a credit card. They reeled one in with the offer of a free gift.

Free stuff is great, right? Wrong, this is the trap that a lot of us fell into at an early age. You sign up for this free credit card and keep it in your wallet. One day you don’t have cash on hand and use the credit card. Then you use it again and again and think “Wow being an adult is great!” When the end of month bill comes you pay the minimum payment and go on about your business being an “adult”. Then next month bill comes. You open it, and BAM how did my $50 shoes turn into $85 shoes?

Financial stress can affect your health in many ways. Those health issues can affect your home life and career. Two of the most common effects of financial stress are anxiety and depression. These effects can be debilitating.

Anxiety and stress can make it hard to focus at work, enjoy time with your family, and keep up with financial responsibilities. Having credit card debt affected me so much that I was stressed until I paid it all off. Luckily, I stopped before it got worse. But I can see how debt happens.

Anxiety can manifest in many ways. Most people report panic attacks where their chest feels like it's tightening. And it's paired with the idea that something terrible is happening and it won't go away. Anxiety can be mental as well as physical.

Depression goes beyond general feelings of sadness and self-doubt. There is a wide array of physical and mental symptoms associated with depression. They include trouble sleeping, change in appetite (overeating or under eating), personal and marital fights, risk-taking behavior, and particularly dark thoughts. Depression can result from divorce, death of a loved one, or financial burdens such as supporting your household with one income.

According to, the idea that stress is 'in your head' is a common misconception. Stress is an inherent physiologic response to a threat. (

Anxiety and depression are not the only conditions caused or worsened by financial stress. Listed below are other possible conditions:

  • Heart Disease/Attack

  • Gastrointestinal Problems

  • Weight Gain/Loss

  • Eating Disorders

  • Diabetes

  • Insomnia

  • Psoriasis

  • Cancer

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Substance Abuse

If your finances are affecting your health, what can you do?

Take responsibility and look for creative ways to solve problems. This can keep you from feeling like a victim and may give you more control. Taking personal responsibility may help you feel a greater sense of freedom in the long run. (

What you do not know has power over you, whereas knowledge brings you choices and control. Fear of the unknown can increase your stress and anxiety. When you have questions, ask them and find answers.

Creating the right financial plan can help when it comes to personal relationships. Gathering factual information and avoiding assumptions is critical. Understanding your challenges can bring you closer to your goals. A custom financial plan, with the help of an advisor, can be the road map to de-stress your financial health.

Being prepared for the “what if’s” in life is key to anyone’s well-being. Knowledge is power!

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