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How Being Financially Savvy Can Improve Your Mental Health

Why You've Got to Listen to This Episode...

Today I’m talking with author and financial literacy and mental health advocate, Natalie Torres-Haddad. As an immigrant and first generation college student, Natalie had a tremendous challenge dealing with her student loan debt after college. She learned the hard way how her financial health directly impacts her mental health, but now she’s helping people of all ages become financially savvy. 

We’re talking about what boundaries you need to put in place to protect your mental and financial health, how to make financial conversations less taboo, and how make finances less stressful and more fun for kids.

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Key Takeaways to Help You Improve Your Mental Health By Becoming Financially Savvy

As always, we’ve rounded up our top three takeaways to summarize what we believe are the core points to remember from Natalie.

1 - Money and Mental Health Go Hand-in-Hand

A lot of us have shame around money. When we’re feeling depressed, managing our money gets even harder. When money is tough, when we’ve been laid off, we have a major expense, or we’re in a lot of debt, it can push many of us into feeling isolated, depressed and anxious. We need to keep in mind that taking care of our money is a form of self care. It’s a way of protecting our own mental health.

Additionally, when we’re feeling some mental health struggles, we need to understand that we’re not going to make perfect choices with money. We can try to be aware of it, but as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety myself, I know how hard it is to stay on top of everything when you’re feeling that struggle.

But one of the things I’d keep top of mind in this area is having an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund makes this process a little bit easier when you’re feeling really down. When you’re feeling like you’re struggling, having some money to lean back on so that if you do overspend some, or you have an emergency expense come up,  you’re able to take the break that you need.

2 - Find a Support System

Both financial struggles and mental health struggles leave many of us feeling isolated, like we don’t have someone we can trust to talk to. We don’t want to bring close family or friends into these issues. They might feel like taboo topics, but I challenge you to fight against that taboo. Find people that you’re willing to talk to that will listen to you and offer support.

If you don’t have friends or family members you can talk to, that is why we have communities like the Motivated Mama Society where you will find a large group of women who who will work through the hard stuff right alongside you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. There are low cost options for therapy, as Natalie mentioned. It can take a little while to find the right person, but it’s worth it to have someone in your corner when these struggles resurface.
 
Whatever you’re struggling with can get better, this is not forever, and finding that support system can help you make those changes.

3 - When We Talk To Kids About Money, Make it Relaxed & Fun

When we talk to kids about being financially savvy, make it relaxed and fun. There is a reason that our Financial Literacy Activity Pack is a set of games to teach kids about money. If we want them to have a healthy growth money mindset, we need to talk to them about it in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming or stressful.

I love that Natalie mentioned having the kids around while you pay the bills. And as you do it, verbally processing some of your mindset shifts so that they can see that, even when things are difficult. That way your kids learn that money isn’t always easy. You have the power to change your family’s money mindset for generations. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation.

Links & Resources Mentioned

Connect with Natalie

A two time TEDX Speaker An international Award Winning Author from her 2012 book, a bilingual podcast host of Financially Savvy in 20 minutes, international keynote speaker and educator.

A first generation College Graduate in Finance and International Business with a Masters in public Administration. She focuses helping those in debt to keep working towards their financial independence.

Born in El Salvador and raised in Inglewood during the LA riots she quickly learned that the lack of higher education and financial illiteracy limits her community of basic human rights and equality in resources.

She started investing in real estate and began her career traveling across the country advocating for financial empowerment and women empowerment.

Have You Subscribed Yet, Mama?

Are you subscribed to the Smart Money Mamas podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to head over to Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen to your podcasts) and subscribe! I release episodes twice and week and as a subscriber, you’ll be notified right away so you can take checking the feed for new content off your mental to-do list. 

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