“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind…” Snoop Dogg got it. His classic 2001 hip-hot hit, Gin & Juice was a cool reminder that even when chilling with friends and trying to relax, money pressures never let up. For some people – rich or poor – money thoughts circle the brain incessantly, affecting mood, attitudes and decisions.
“Money and mental health are connected,” is the straightforward message from Mind for Mental Health, a UK organization that provides advice and support to people dealing with mental health challenges. “Poor mental health can make earning and managing money harder. And worrying about money can make your mental health worse. It can start to feel like a vicious cycle.”
If you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to know that help is available. From psychologists to credit counsellors or financial planners, there is an entire industry of professionals trained to provide support. If you feel shy about asking for help, remember there are always cases much worse than yours. You’re never alone, and you’re never the worst off.
In the meantime, a few quick tips to consider in balancing your financial and mental health
More money in. The flow of money is like anything in life, sometimes it rolls in easily, sometimes sources run dry. Having more than one stream of income can make a person less vulnerable and less stressed. Whether it's moonlighting as a TikTok influencer, driving an Uber on weekends, or making cute scrunchies to sell on Shopify or Etsy, the world is your marketplace. Choose your skill and get creative.
Manage money out. Set up your system to be more efficient and less wasteful, by using automatic bill payments. Use only one credit card to maximize cash-back or points rewards. If you must carry a balance, do so only in a low-interest account. Delete apps or subscriptions you haven’t looked at in three months. Create an auto-withdrawal of 10 percent of every paycheque that goes straight into a long-term savings account – experts call this, “paying yourself first.”
Change your brain. “Mindfulness is simply a state of open, nonjudgmental, and nondiscursive attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant,” says Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author. “Cultivating this quality of mind has been shown to modulate pain, mitigate anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function and even produce changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self awareness.” Check out Sam’s meditation app, Waking Up, or his Growth Mindset podcast.
Meanwhile, twenty years after Gin & Juice and 35 million albums sold, Snoop Dogg now oversees a vast empire of diverse businesses. Which proves that keeping your money on your mind can yield positive results, but there is no doubt Snoop had some financial advisors along the way. A financial planner can provide the expertise you need to get the money on your mind sorted out.