By Maxine Marsolini (our resident financial guru)
A study published in the journal Research on Aging in July found that being anxious about finances isn’t just bad for your mental health. It can make you look older, too. . . . stress induced by money had a stronger effect on apparent aging than did other stressors.
Every morning we look in the mirror. What if that latest wrinkle is a direct result of worrying about how to keep the bills paid? Research reveals money woes are not just internalized, but skin deep, too. This study certainly got my attention.
Most of us, after our mid-twenties, don’t want to look older. In fact, we shell out big bucks for the latest face creams, wrinkle reducers, spa treatments, and dietary supplements meant to help us keep a youthful appearance. I’d venture further to say none of us ever dreamed financial stress was a contributing factor to aging faster than we otherwise would.
Don’t let these facts get you down. There’s plenty that can be done to turn this bad boy around. Three simple ways to age as gracefully and beautifully as possible start by: 1) Setting achievable goals 2) Determining the steps to take 3) Applying self-discipline.
The Goals: To have a practical spending plan for the next year. Be realistic not self-defeating. Be happy with needs being met. To muster the strength to say, “No” to emotional purchases that will sabotage the plan. Practice contentment. Put money aside, through delayed gratification that, over time will pay for the extras.
The Steps: Discern the current financial situation. Identify the leading contributors to anxiety. Perhaps it’s the lawn service, car payment, spontaneous shopping, gift giving, or medical bills. Seek advice from a money expert, if necessary, and pray for God-centered solutions.
The lure of a good deal, even for things we don’t need, easily takes on the persona of a financial stressor. Choosing instant gratification equates to financial pressure for years to come. If we can’t keep our eyes from gazing at those pretty ads, let’s stop subscribing to those newspapers and magazines that fill us with temptation. Online ads are just as enticing. Unsubscribe to the “deals” that coax us to spend.
Self-discipline: Resolve to honor the agreed upon spending plan. Pre-determine an amount of personal spending money for the week. Consider activities, lunch, or coffee with friends. There is no “one size fits all” because income levels and financial obligations vary from one family to the next. Settle on an amount that is right for your family members and not merely self-serving.
Allowing financial stress to steal youthful vitality is most often a self-inflicted problem. All of us can do what we can, to the best of our abilities, to benefit from healthy finances. In return, we also slow down the aging process for as long as we can.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV
 Alicia Adamczyk, Stressing Out About Money Will Make You Look Older, Money, December 2016, p. 15
Maxine Marsolini is the author and founder of Rebuilding Families. Her sound financial advice gives individuals and families a leg up on living debt free. Maxine shares relationship builders, parenting tips and little known financial strategies once a week. Don’t miss out on the conversation! Sign up on her website today!
People from every socio-economic level are given opportunity to better understand the big world of finance, slay financial fears and benefit from good money management skills. Readers will discover ways to lessen anxiety over money that can protect a family’s financial future for generations to come. This one-of-a-kind book is perfect for those who are tired of the status quo and ready to know what’s really happening behind the scenes of the economy at home and around the world.
Rebuilding Families One Dollar At A Time is for anyone who is determined to do whatever it takes to shape a positive financial future.