With the world economy the way that it currently stands, it’s nearly impossible to not be constantly thinking about money. With student loans, car loans, mortgage payments, day care, private school, gas costs and everything else increasing (and maybe mounting), money is everywhere in your life. Maybe you think about money and your finances multiple times per day, daily, weekly, monthly, I know you’re thinking about it.
Do you find yourself:
- Constantly checking your bank accounts?
- Figuring out if you can even eat today, or how much you can spend on food?
- Wondering when you’ll ever have time to sleep?
- Wondering how you will make it to the next paycheck?
- Engaging in behaviors that you normally wouldn’t do? Such as smoking or drinking?
- Debating whether or not it’s worth it to go to the doctor, even though you feel miserable?
Money (or lack of money) influences your life daily. Should you splurge on that item at the mall, go out to eat with your friends, buy everyone in your whole extended family a random present or maybe something else?
Money and finances affect individuals everyday, and having too much, not enough, or any will affect the way that you live. And it will also affect your health.
According to the Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project, the number of hospital stays increased 14% from 1997 to 2009. In this period, costs rose from $229.6 billion to $361.5 billion. Of course other things are taking part in both of these increases such as generations getting older and living longer, but in general, costs and stays ARE rising.
Everyone in the world has experienced some level of stress due to money. People who suffer from stress due to their finances (mainly debt and increasing expenses) are more likely to suffer from health problems than those who weren’t dealing with money troubles.
Money doesn’t create happiness, but it sure does make life easier. Money also makes it easier for those to lead healthier lives. Healthy food, such as organic items, are much more expensive than your “average” food items.
Many studies in recent years have shown that lower amounts of income are linked to poorer health than those with higher levels of income. Studies have also shown that lower income leads to higher levels of debt and higher levels of stress.
There are many ways in which your finances affect your health:
1. You work more.
What can you possibly do if you don’t make enough money to cover yourself, AND you can’t possibly cut anymore expenses out of your life? You might take on more hours at work, find another job, get a part-time job, and so on. Working more when you already don’t have enough time might not be the best option for you. You are most likely risking your health if you work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. You smoke, drink or eat more.
Finances can also cause you to smoke, drink or eat more unhealthy. This also leads to you spending more money in order to engage in these behaviors, which creates a never ending cycle.
3. You can’t afford good health insurance or to go to the doctor.
Health insurance is expensive, especially if you’re work doesn’t cover any part of it. You might only be able to afford catastrophic insurance and therefore can only afford to go to the doctor when it is extremely needed. Avoiding the doctor when you need to go also leads to more stress.
4. You don’t get enough sleep.
When a person is under stress, they often don’t get enough sleep. You might find yourself laying awake at night thinking about your finances and what you will do next. This will then affect how you eat, function, work and everything else.
How does money affect your health?
And how does your health affect your money?
Photo Credit (eamoncurry)