Do you sometimes avoid looking at credit card statements, bills, and account balances?

Is stress about your financial situation affecting your sleep, your eating habits, and/or leading to a repetitive thought cycle about money issues?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, it could be a good time to have a conversation with someone about money and mental health.

People who are stressed are 2x as likely to report poor overall health.

They have difficulty sleeping, are distracted, and it often affects their relationships.  Someone who already struggles with depression and/or anxiety is 3x more likely to get into debt.

This article, Coping with Financial Stress, goes into more detail about how issues with finances can affect our mental health. 

Financial well-being is absolutely connected to our overall wellness. It’s as important as emotional and physical well-being if we’re looking to achieve overall health and happiness.

If you are stressed about money issues, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

What stops people from getting help around finances? 

Shame, the fear of being vulnerable or looking foolish are often barriers to seeking help.  It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, and then, to move beyond the feelings and talk to someone experienced in working through financial stress issues about what’s going on.  For those who do reach out, they quickly come to realize that financial struggles are a very common thing. 

Brene Brown has a wonderful quote about taking the risk to reach out. 

“Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen, to ask for what you need, to talk about how you’re feeling, to have the hard conversations.”

As a counsellor in financial literacy, I spend a considerable amount of time talking about a Trauma-Informed Money Mindset, one of the 7 Pillars of my Money Management framework. 

Our money mindset is our core beliefs about money and our attitude towards it. For many people, these beliefs are seeded in some kind of money trauma.  They are largely shaped by what we’ve heard, overheard, learned (directly or indirectly), seen, and picked up from our own parents based on their situation, both personally and societally. To truly take control of and be empowered around our money, we need to understand how our beliefs about money plays out in our life. 

For example, some people have a belief that money is bad.  I use the term Money Avoiders to describe this mindset.  Studies have found that Money Avoidance can be associated with trying not to think about money, ignoring financial statements, overspending, enabling others financially, and having difficulty managing a budget.   

Money Avoiders may believe that they do not deserve money and/or they feel guilty about the money that they do have.  For instance, receiving monetary gifts such as an inheritance may be difficult. They may also tend to have the opinion that wealthy people are greedy or corrupt, and that there is virtue in living with less money.  Because of their negative associations with money and the wealthy, money avoiders may sabotage their financial success and/or give money away in an unconscious effort to stay at a lower socioeconomic level.

As mentioned earlier, financial stress also affects our relationships.  Studies indicate that 31% of couples clash at least once a month over money, so it’s important to create financial compatibility and trust between partners.  I’ve created a guide with 14 key questions that partners can discuss so they can successfully manage their finances together, instead of feeling worry and tension around finances.  You can download it from my website, Sand Dollar Financial Literacy Counselling.

The key take aways are; if you or someone you know is stressed about finances, you or they are not alone, and there are supportive, caring financial counsellors who can help you move towards taking control of your financial situation. 

Note from Chris

Pamela has provided excellent guidance about how to recognize financial stress, how to begin to address it and move forward and a great tool for couples to build financial trust.

If you find yourself feeling so overwhelmed with stress around finances that you’re stuck in a pattern of inaction, a series of NeurOptimal® sessions can bring your nervous system back into balance so that you have more capacity to reach out to someone like Pamela and more forward with the tools to building a life without financial stress. 

Pamela George was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in a family with ever-increasing money problems, including homelessness. Having successfully taken control of her own finances and broken a cycle of poverty that has affected four generations of her family, she deeply understands the emotional side of money.

Pamela George professional headshot, owner of Sand Dollar Financial Literacy Counselling


Her goal is to educate and empower women, so they may regain control of their finances and start living the life they want.  Through trauma-informed money mindset counselling, she has helped individuals, couples, employees, and entrepreneurs, pay off debt, build budgets and save for the future so they can start living the life they want.

Learn more at Her Website, her LinkedIn Profile or the Sand Dollar Financial Literacy Counselling Instagram or Facebook accounts.

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