Depression can make it difficult to focus on normal, everyday tasks like managing your finances. When you’re depressed, you can start to dwell on negative thoughts, which can trap you in a cycle of financial trouble and greater depression. Gaining control over your financial situation is a good start to fighting depression and regaining your life. Use these tips to help manage your finances while depressed and avoid any more money problems.
● Face the problem – Depression can make it difficult for you to find motivation to deal with your problems. Ignore the impulse to hide from your issues; the first step to regaining control is to face them. Tuning your problems out actually makes you feel worse. Start by looking at your bills and documents, even if you can’t pay them yet. Choosing to see the bills removes any ambiguity and lets you own the choice. Once you know the full situation, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start solving the problem.
● Make a plan – In many cases, depression targets those who are already in debt, or who don’t make enough money to support their lifestyle. After you have an idea of your situation, make a plan to tackle your debt. You don’t have to pay it all back immediately, but start a payment plan. The plan gives you a framework to help you overcome the debt and make you feel less hopeless.
● Create a savings account – Your payment plan should give you an idea of how much you should save every month to pay off your debts. Store that amount in a savings account, or set your current account to automatically transfer it after every payday. If you find yourself with little money after calculating your expenses, consider finding another job or getting better pay. That will help you grow your nest egg to support you in case of emergency. Your growing savings account can also give you a sense of accomplishment that can help keep you positive.
● Focus on recent progress – When you’re depressed, avoid dwelling on any difficulties. Instead, focus on what progress you’ve made, however small. Even in the midst of depression, you can still decide what topics you want to process. When negative thoughts rear their heads, steer your train of thought back to the positive steps you’ve been taking so far. This helps you stay focused on the plan and avoid becoming discouraged.
● Practice budgeting – Depression can encourage compulsive spending as a way to make you feel better for a while. Budget yourself strictly to control any desire to spend and avoid adding any more debt. Keep a tally of your expenses to organize your finances. This is also a therapeutic exercise in itself. Decision-making and uncertainty contribute to your depression. Mapping out your spending and sticking to a budget helps alleviate any negative feelings when you have to manage your finances.
● Find expert assistance – You can also feel down about money problems because you don’t know how to solve them yourself. Consider hiring a financial planner for a professional’s view on handling your money problems. A financial planner can look through your bills, income, and debt to help you make a more cohesive plan.
● Consider therapy – Living with depression is not easy, but there are methods available to help you overcome it. Take up treatments that can help you find ways past the problem (e.g. counseling, massage therapy, yoga, or meditation). Therapists in Windsor can help you take control of your situation so you can face life on a more balanced footing.