Psych Central

Money and Financial Articles

5 Tips for Living With Uncertainty

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

5 Tips for Living With UncertaintyIn his book The Art of Uncertainty, Dennis Merritt Jones writes:

“Between a shaky world economy, increasing unemployment, and related issues, many today are being forced to come to the edge of uncertainty. Just like the baby sparrows, they find themselves leaning into the mystery that change brings, because they have no choice: It’s fly or die.”

For persons struggling with depression and anxiety — and for those of us who are highly sensitive — uncertainty is especially difficult. Forget about learning to fly. The uncertainty itself feels like death and can cripple our efforts to do anything during a time of transition.

I have been living in uncertainty, like many people, ever since December of 2008 when the economy plummeted and the creative fields — like architecture and publishing — took a hard blow, making it extremely difficult to feed a family. In that time, I think I have worked a total of 10 jobs — becoming everything from a defense contractor to a depression “expert.” I even thought about teaching high school morality. Now that’s desperate.

I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with uncertainty, but having lived in that terrain for almost five years now, I’m qualified to offer a few tips of how not to lose it when things are constantly changing.

10 Tips for Using Credit Cards Responsibly When You Have ADHD

Friday, April 26th, 2013

10 Tips for Using Credit Cards Responsibly When You Have ADHDThe very nature of ADHD makes it difficult for adults with the disorder to use credit cards responsibly. “Impulsivity, for one thing, means an adult with ADHD will see something they want and without thinking it through, will pull out their credit card and make a purchase,” according to Terry Matlen, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD.

It also doesn’t help that credit cards are so easy to use. “Credit cards are rather intangible. They’re plastic, easy to store and don’t look like money. It’s much easier handing a card to a clerk than reaching for cash that generally has more meaning and is more concrete.”

Psychotherapist Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, agreed. “Credit cards can give the illusion that one is not really spending ‘real’ money.”

Depression Means No Health Insurance: Sorry About That

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Depression Means No Health Insurance: Sorry About ThatI fall into the category of the “uninsurable.”

It doesn’t matter that I wake up most mornings to swim 160 laps, am borderline obsessed with eating salads and whole grains, and that I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in 24 years; that I do yoga twice a week, keep a mood journal, engage in cognitive behavioral therapy, and have a rich spiritual life; that I take omega-3 fish oil capsules, vitamin D, calcium, and other supplements with my extra-pulp juice in the morning; or that I work really hard at communicating anger, frustration, and disappointment so that the repression of feelings doesn’t end up as a tumor somewhere inside my body.

I can’t get an individual or family plan short of signing up for a $10,000 deductible.

Because I have a history of depression.

7 Mistaken Beliefs About Money

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

7 Mistaken Beliefs About MoneyOur attitudes about money are formed in childhood, according to Maggie Baker, Ph.D, a psychologist who deals with relationship, money and wealth issues and is author of Crazy About Money: How Emotions Confuse Our Money Choices and What To Do About It.

And it’s these attitudes that shape how we use money today. Unfortunately, we usually don’t know it. People “can be very rational about money and irrational about their behavior.”

For instance, you assume you’re careful and conservative with your cash. You might even know all the right things to do. But once you start recording how much you spend, you begin to see patterns that suggest your behavior isn’t reflecting those assumptions.

We also might hold onto erroneous stories we’ve picked up over the years. Here are seven mistaken beliefs to relinquish.

Why Are Women So Stressed in the Workplace?

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Why Are Women So Stressed in the Workplace?Low salaries, lack of opportunity for advancement and heavy workloads have more than one-third of Americans reporting feeling chronic work stress.

And women are feeling it more acutely than ever.  After decades of making progress in the work force, many women are feeling less valued than men, according to a recent APA survey on Stress in the Workplace.  They’re feeling they don’t receive adequate monetary compensation for their work and feel that employers offer them fewer opportunities for internal career advancement than men.

Why are women feeling less appreciated than men, when it comes to compensation and why are they stressed by lack of opportunity?

Possibly because they are.

5 Great Low or No-Cost Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

5 Great Low or No-Cost Gift Ideas for Valentine's DayIn our society, we typically equate great gifts with great cash. But you don’t need to splurge on a gift to spoil your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s often the low or no-cost presents that are most meaningful anyway.

“To this day one of the most thoughtful gifts my husband has given me was a fishing tackle box he bought at a garage sale when we were first married,” said Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist and author of Cue Cards for Life: Thoughtful Tips for Better Relationships

Steinorth doesn’t even fish. But her husband bought the box to help her organize her jewelry, which she was regularly misplacing. She still uses it today.

If you’re stumped on what to do for your beloved, here are five gift ideas that cost little to no money but nonetheless make a sweet treat.

Rethinking Your Relationship To Money

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Rethinking Your Relationship To MoneyWe’re all too familiar with the adage, “Money can’t buy happiness.” But according to author Laura Vanderkam, in her empowering and thoughtful book All The Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending, “If money can’t buy happiness, perhaps we aren’t spending it right.”

Vanderkam encourages us to rethink how we view money.

Rather than money being “evil or soulless” or a point of comparison, she suggests we start seeing it as a tool for “acquiring, doing, and taking care of things that bring us joy.”

Let’s find out how.

The Age of Small Business

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

The Age of Small BusinessEvery single entrepreneur on the face of this earth is actually writing a book. And the nature of that book must begin right now. Where you are. With the question: what do I wish to say?
~ Michael E. Gerber

The United States was founded on a system of free enterprise in order to cultivate freedom and opportunity. A free enterprise economy matters since it enables individuals to achieve success, to “plant their own seed,” and to leave a mark on others’ lives. This foundation is based upon the voluntary exchange of goods and services, where both parties benefit from this transaction.

With our recent economic woes, unemployment is still a relevant issue. This has taken an emotional toll on fathers and mothers who struggle to put food on the table. College graduates, who’ve spent several years working diligently toward a degree, are having trouble finding positions in their desired fields. Then there are those who have stopped looking for work altogether.

Maybe this is the time that lends itself to a “call to action,” where individuals can take a leap of faith and personally invest in their pursuit of happiness. Aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and dreamers, of all kinds, must take initiative.

20-Something & Living at Home

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

20-Something & Living at HomeIt’s hardly breaking news that young adults are living at home longer.

Of course there are exceptions, but it appears that the idea of leaving the nest immediately following college graduation is long gone.

The current economy makes establishing financial independence a difficult feat. From a sociological perspective, extended mooching off Mom and Dad seems to be trending. Many young adults either are saving the money they do have, basking in domestic convenience, or simply waiting for the right living opportunity.

Overall, it seems they’re just not ready to take the next step.

What It Means to Have a Healthy Relationship with Money

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

What It Means to Have a Healthy Relationship with MoneyWhen many of us think health and wellness, we think exercise, nutrient-rich foods, regular checkups and (hopefully) getting enough sleep. We rarely think money.

But “financial wellness is a component of overall wellness,” according to clinical psychologist Joe Lowrance, PsyD. He works with clients to identify problematic behaviors around money and create solutions for a healthier relationship.

“Financial health is having a conscious and purposeful relationship with money that is satisfying and isn’t overly stressful,” said Brad Klontz, PsyD, a financial psychologist and director of research at H&R Block Dollars & Sense.

So what does this look like?

The Money Talk: 3 Reasons to Have It With Your Partner Right Now

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The Money Talk: 3 Reasons to Have It With Your Partner Right NowThe pursuit of love and money may be universal, but it can be rare to find both, and rarer still for the two to coexist in harmony. After all, losing money for love and vice versa is the stuff of great stories because almost all of us can relate.

One of the most common of these stories is the sometimes-tragedy of divorce, in which a happy union is marred and ultimately ruined by the couple’s inability to communicate and jointly manage money matters.

As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To prevent misunderstandings over money or its mismanagement from ruining your marriage, having “the money talk” is essential.

What to Do When You Can’t Afford Therapy

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

What to Do When You Can't Afford Therapy One of the biggest reasons people don’t seek therapy is money. People look at a therapist’s hourly rates — which might range from $100 to $250 — and immediately assume they can’t afford professional help. So they stop there.

But you do have various helpful options. Below, clinicians share, in no particular order, what you can do if you can’t afford treatment.

1. Check with your insurance.

“If you have insurance, ask your insurance plan to give you a list of providers who are either in your geographic area or who specialize in the issue you are seeking help with,” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. You might only have to pay a small co-pay, he said.

However, even if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy, get the details on what they do cover, said Julie A. Fast, a coach and author of Get It Done When You’re Depressed. For instance, your policy might still include the words “social worker,” she said.

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