Learn how improving your relationship with money can boost mental health.

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Better Ways to Budget
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The biggest myth when it comes to money? That only people who lack it struggle over their relationship with it. Regardless of net worth, anyone can feel insecure about money, says Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a financial therapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Rather than focusing on budgeting and managing money, she helps clients build a positive relationship with finances—which, in turn, can benefit mental health.

During times of uncertainty, such as the pandemic, people often turn to personal finance experts. But much of the advice (Stop spending! Save as much as possible!) is rooted in shame and restriction, which only exacerbates feelings of guilt, says Bryan-Podvin. Her advice: Try working on one financial goal at a time and get specific. For example, aim to save $500 for an emergency fund over three months, or put an extra $50 toward student loan payments for the rest of the year. "When we work toward small, achievable goals," she says, "it tells our brains we can accomplish a task and provides us with that additional motivation and momentum to keep going."

3 Great Tools

1. BROKE MILLENNIAL Personal finance expert Erin Lowry answers financial questions on everything from paying bills to major life transitions through her book series and blog. brokemillennial.com

2. MINT Even the free version of this app enables you to create custom budgets, track your spending, and monitor your credit cards and credit score. mint.intuit.com

3. THE FINANCIAL DIET Tune in to an insightful podcast and three new YouTube videos weekly from this team of eight women having tough conversations about money. thefinancialdiet.com