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How Financial Wellness Supports Your Mental Health

Why financial wellness impacts mental health and how TalkingParents helps co-parents boost both.

Most people have concerns about their financial stability at least once in their lives. For some, these worries compound until they significantly impact their financial wellness. In instances where money problems and concerns persist, poor financial wellness can lead to mental and physical health issues. Unfortunately, this problem is more widespread than it seems, with some experts saying the numbers are an indication of a mental health crisis.

According to the American Psychological Association's 2022 annual Stress in America report, 83% of people felt that money and inflation were significant sources of stress that impacted them anywhere from a weekly to daily basis. Of those who felt that way, 57% were most concerned about paying for current expenses. In comparison, 43% were more concerned about their inability to save for the future.

With the unique circumstances of shared parenting, co-parents can experience negative impacts on their mental health due to monetary uncertainty. A study that examined the relationship between financial and mental health found that unmarried, divorced, or separated individuals had a stronger correlation between money problems and psychological distress compared to those who were married or living with someone else.

Man on computer

What is financial wellness?

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), financial wellness is "a state of being where a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, feel secure in their financial future, and is able to make choices that allow them to enjoy life." While the CFPB recognizes this definition as mostly subjective, the research behind the definition found that many people shared the same perspective on financial wellness as a concept regardless of their age, income, or location. At its core, financial wellness depends on a person's comfort level about present and future expenses.

How are financial and mental health connected?

A person's financial health can have a profound impact on their mental health compared to other causes. In a study conducted by Bankrate, 52% of U.S. adults cite money as the most common factor that negatively impacts their mental health. Those hit harder by financial and mental health concerns are often those in lower income brackets—over 70% of people with a household income below $50,000 reported heightened financial stress levels.

Common financial factors that can contribute to poor mental health include:

  • Lack of emergency savings
  • Increased interest rates
  • Job security concerns
  • Increased housing costs

The connection between financial wellness and mental health is a well-researched and confirmed correlation, and the relationship goes both ways. While money problems often cause a decline in mental health, anxieties can lead to a decline in financial health, even if the initial concerns are unrelated to money.

Stressed woman on couch

Can financial stress impact your physical health?

Just as anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can lead to physical symptoms, poor financial wellness can compound and start manifesting into physical symptoms. Combined with financial and mental health issues, physical issues related to financial concerns can create a vicious cycle that makes it difficult to improve any of the three aspects.

In times of heightened or prolonged financial stress, people are more likely to experience physical symptoms like:

  • Weakened immune systems
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Tense or aching muscles
  • High blood pressure
  • Substance abuse issues for coping

What are some ways to improve financial wellness?

Even if it feels helpless, there are options for people to get help and begin improving their financial wellness. Whether it's by investigating potential financial resources or talking with a friend or loved one, taking the first step is critical in the journey to better your financial health.

These are some of the many ways you can work to reduce financial stress and improve your overall well-being:

Frustrated woman looking at bills

How can Accountable Payments help co-parents with financial and mental wellness?

Even though the unfavorable odds and statistics may seem stacked against them, parents in shared parenting situations who wish to improve their financial and mental well-being can implement various tools and habits to help themselves and their children. With Accountable Payments and other features in TalkingParents, co-parents can adopt better boundaries and implement helpful tools to fortify their financial and mental health.

1. It offers peace of mind

Financial wellness often depends on a person's financial literacy, which is understanding their financial situation and implementing the appropriate management skills. Without transparency and clarity, the journey to becoming financially healthy can be difficult. These obstacles can negatively affect co-parents' financial literacy and well-being, especially with the unknowns that often come along with shared expenses.

Accountable Payments helps co-parents have peace of mind by offering them a clear, transparent view of their one-time and recurring shared parenting expenses. Instead of questioning whether an outgoing payment is scheduled or a pending payment request is completed, each requested and completed transaction is timestamped for both parents to view. Payments can be scheduled between a week and several months in advance so that either parent can set and forget anticipated transactions. Whether it's with scheduled, requested, or completed payments, the transparency of Accountable Payments helps co-parents develop stronger financial wellness and confidence.

2. It keeps your information secure

Whenever parents separate, each parent's ability to divide and maintain their finances is a significant part of solidifying their confidence about their financial wellness. In cases of a more contentious divorce or separation, the journey to financial health can be complicated by a lack of privacy between co-parents as they switch to separate accounts or change contact information, to create safeguards for their security. Tension related to managing shared expenses can grow intense, especially if parents wish to keep their new banking information completely private.

With Accountable Payments and other features in TalkingParents, each co-parent can protect their financial information while managing their shared parenting situation efficiently. While the Accountable Payments feature requires a parent's banking information to send and receive money, those details remain entirely private from their co-parent, meaning they cannot access your bank account directly. In addition to billing information, any other contact information associated with an account, including a phone number or email address, is private and will never be shared with the other parent.

Man with baby looking at credit card

3. It's integrated with TalkingParents

Communication is vital for divorced or separated co-parents who need to manage shared expenses and anything else related to their children. However, that can be challenging in shared parenting situations with obstacles like harassment, non-responsiveness, protective orders, or any factor that prevents efficient communication or shared parenting. Coordinating all things co-parenting, from regular custody schedules to unexpected school expenses, can be even more challenging when managed across different apps or websites.

In addition to Accountable Payments, TalkingParents includes valuable features like Secure Messaging, a Shared Calendar, and more to provide the most all-inclusive co-parenting service. Using a single service, co-parents can communicate about shared expenses, store essential information about their children, and even conduct virtual visitation. Combining these helpful features in one cost-effective service provides co-parents with the safe, secure, all-in-one shared parenting tool they need to protect their financial and mental health.

4. It's included in Unalterable Records

While banking statements are typically easy to track and gather, separating shared parenting expenses and confirming each charge's validity can be difficult, especially if preparing evidence for court. Additionally, financial records often need to be supplemented with evidence like communication records, parenting time failures, and other supplementary documents to give the courts a comprehensive understanding of the situation. With the cost of an attorney often depending on hourly billing, gathering and assembling evidence must be done efficiently to optimize costs and results.

With TalkingParents, every interaction is included in an Unalterable Record, whether it's a transaction in Accountable Payments or the transcript of a phone or video call, that both co-parents can access at any time. Instead of spending several hours gathering documentation, parents can obtain their Records in moments, spend less time reviewing potential evidence, and save thousands in attorney's fees. Because they're verified and formatted for easy use in legal settings, Records help parents showcase any co-parenting concerns, financial or otherwise, in mediation or court.

Financial wellness is a crucial part of every person's life, and it's imperative to take every step to protect it, especially when shared expenses have the potential to make a significant impact. By pairing your efforts to preserve or improve your financial well-being with Accountable Payments and other TalkingParents features, you can better control the various components of your co-parenting journey and focus your efforts on what matters most—your children.

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