Are finances affecting your mental health? Tips from The Curve
Stress around money and finances is one of the biggest contributors to our mental wellbeing. Whether it’s worrying about unexpected expenses, dealing with debt, or living paycheck to paycheck financial stress can take a toll on our mental health.
So to help us all out, we sat down with co-founders, Victoria and Sophie from The Curve to get their insights and tips on how to reduce stress when it comes to our finances.
Q. What made you decide to start The Curve?
Victoria: For years I had seen the women around us struggle with the confidence to build their finances and grow their wealth, Soph was one of those people. The gender finance gap wasn’t the only issue, there was a general lack of resources and representation in the finance and investing space. There was a gap in the market for places for women to go to have simple conversations about money and building the future they want - I almost felt like I had a responsibility to share and open the door to those who hadn't previously been privy to these conversations.
Together Soph and I launched The Curve to help close that gap. We wanted to bring together smart, like-minded women - to talk and learn. Our goal is to help women cut through the noise and find the knowledge to become more confident with their finances. The Curve aims to empower all women through money. We wanted to provide a safe space for women to get investment and finance-savvy, without the noise and confusion.
The Curve is a place for women to learn about investing and to improve their finances in a way that makes sense to them and makes sense for their lifestyle.
Q: What would you recommend to someone who is feeling stressed and overwhelmed about their finances?
1) Try your best to not get overwhelmed.
It may feel like the world is ending but it's not and you always have the power to change your circumstances.
2) Talk to someone you trust.
A problem shared is truly a problem halved. We still don't talk about money enough - years ago it was awkward for doctors to ask their patients if they drink or smoke, now that's just to be expected. Help to open the conversation, for yourself and the people around you.
3) Don't bury your head in the sand.
It's so easy to avoid your finances, to put your parking tickets in a drawer and forget about them but that is only going to stress you out more and will only make things worse. Tackle bills/debts one at a time. Sit down with a cup of tea, make a list and work through it methodically. You'll be amazed how much better you feel.
4) Create a budget,
so you can see where you are spending your money, what you can cut back on and how you can improve your overall situation. Having control over your finances will help alleviate a LOT of stress! Print out your bank statements, get a highlighter and go through it all with a fine-tooth comb.
Q: What experience had the biggest impact on your personal relationships with money?
Sophie- My parents often had a scarcity mindset when I grew up. I was really privileged to go to a private school, it was a struggle for my parents, but even more so to keep up with the families I spent lots of time with. I remember Dad going to SO much trouble to make presents and to go to any extent to save a dollar.
I notice how much it's affected the way I spend money, I'm either feast or famine - I'll put my head in the sand and ignore my finances for 6 months, or I go to the other extreme and don't so much as buy a coffee out for 6 months. I find it hard to find the balance of a budget and I think that comes back memories from my childhood.
Q. In 2022, concern about personal finances is considered to be the biggest impact on New Zealanders mental wellbeing – what are your thoughts on this?
Sophie - I completely empathise, I am one of these people. I walked from our office to the supermarket the other day to buy some snacks and ended up spending $40 (for tea bags, some fruit and biscuits). I literally cried on my way back to the office and confided in Vic when I got back about how stressed I was about money.
I get it. Life is so expensive right now - I think it's so important to talk about it and to give people the help and resources to improve both their mental health and their finances. That's why I'm so grateful for brands like BraveFace who partner with us and help spread this important message and information.
Together we have created two insightful resources to help you on your journey to become mentally healthy and wealthy.
- You can listen to our Mindful Miniseries created by The Curve and BraveFace, where we interview four inspiring women, and discuss their relationship with mental health and finances. Links to the each episode are at the end of the blog.
- We’ve also created a free resource to help you ease financial stress and improve mental wellbeing.
Q. What tips do you have for people who are feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed with the current economic state of the world?
Victoria - Firstly, if you feel stress and anxiety around money - you are absolutely not alone. Especially in this current environment where the price of literally EVERYTHING is going through the roof.
We can’t escape money stress. It will rear its ugly head multiple times throughout our lives. Whether it’s a constant, or situational - being aware of it, knowing what signs to look for, and taking steps towards navigating through the stress are the best ways to keep it at bay.
Learning how to manage these stresses can be an absolute game changer to your mental health. When things feel out of control, focus on what you can control. While you can’t control the cost of things, you can take charge of your money and the way you respond to situations.
Q. Where should people first start if they don’t know where to begin with investing and managing their money better?
Sophie- 100000% listen to The Curve podcast. It's the BEST place to start for beginners and it's free. We hope it feels like listening to friends talking about money and investing, rather than overwhelming or boring.
We intentionally left in the laughs we had along the way, because we think it makes it much easier to digest. Also we just got a few awards in the NZ Podcast Awards so if you don't take our word for it then surely the awards will sway you!!
The Mindful Miniseries Podcast
Ep 1: Why are our finances + mental health so intertwined with BraveFave resident Psychologist Dr Victoria Thompson
Ep 2: Building resilience with your money when times are tough with Kayla Gordine
Ep 3: JJ Feeney on money, mental health + sharing finances with her ex-husband
Ep 4: An inspiring and incredibly important conversation with the Māori Millionaire