We often think about money management as something that happens separately from everything else in our lives, but nothing really exists in a vacuum. The truth is that our lifestyle habits can have a tremendous impact on the way we manage money. Live right and we will make the right choices. Live on the edge and our finances will suffer too. Here are three lifestyle habits that can make us worse at taking care of our financial resources:
1. Lack of Sleep
One of the biggest ways you can make yourself worse at managing money is to neglect your sleep.
Not having enough sleep could be a big problem when it comes to making decisions. Tiredness reduces your ability to think clearly and make sound judgments. On top of that, being tired lowers your willpower.
If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, there is a good chance you’ll find it harder to resist the temptation to spend. Plus, you might not think clearly when it comes time to make a purchase.
Don’t make financial decisions when you’re tired and overwhelmed. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases and even choose a poor outcome.
The bottom line is that you need to wait until you’ve been able to catch up on sleep before you decide on a major financial decision. It could be costly to do so otherwise.
2. Poor Nutrition
Did you know that what you eat can influence how you think about things, and the way you make decisions?
Being on a diet high in fat and sugar can actually make you worse at managing your money.
When you eat a lot of food that isn’t very good for you, it’s likely to make you sluggish in mind as well as body. It also lowers your willpower. As you probably know, willpower is very important when you want to resist impulse buys and when you want to avoid making poor snap decisions. Can you imagine being tired and loading up on sugar?
On the other hand, a healthy diet can boost your ability to make good decisions and think through problems. If you’re facing a money problem, you want your brain working at a high capacity. Lean proteins high in omega-3 fatty acids can improve your brain function, which is why you should have more of it if you want to make good financial choices. Think eggs and Greek yogurt instead of red meat. And when you do have a steak, it’s better to choose the sirloin instead of that 36 oz cowboy bone-in rib eye.
When your brain is functioning well because of your nutrition, you are far more likely to make better decisions, think through your financial plan, and avoid money disasters.
3. Poor Relationship Management
Don’t forget about the impact your relationships have on you. Difficult relationships are worst, because you could feel stressed and have anxiety a lot of the time. You might also sleep less and eat sugary foods more often. This might lead you to spend more than you should in the name of “retail therapy.”
Even if you are in a mostly healthy relationship, your ability to manage your money can be impacted when you are inevitably under stress. Be careful of times when you might be fighting, or discussing something difficult with your partner. A bad day or a fight can lead to clouded judgment and poor money decisions.
Your lifestyle habits impact your state of mind and your ability to cope with stress. You need to be able to deal with money problems constructively, as well as make better long-term decisions. The right lifestyle habits can help with that, but you need to make a conscious effort to build these habits into your routine until they become second nature.