In modern society, we face a serious dilemma. More and more people are raising awareness to mental health. And, yet, more and more people are also lamenting about hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Both are problems. And both affect one another intimately.

What’s the Relationship Between Mental Health & Money?

We’ve all heard that phrase, right? The one about how money can’t buy happiness, but we’re willing to cry in our Lamborghinis to confirm the truth?

Well, the phrase isn’t entirely wrong (but it’s not entirely on the money, either). Yes, the pun to that was definitely intended.

In fact, research shows that money does make us happier, but it’s only up to $75,000 per year. If that number seems exorbitant to you, be mindful of how much you probably think you need to earn to be happy.

Most of us look at high-living celebrities driving around in their fancy cars, living in their mansion homes, and wearing head-to-toe designer clothing. I’m not saying those people aren’t happy, but research does suggest that they probably aren’t much happier than an upper-middle-class family.

But Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, Right?

In a nutshell, yes. But, here’s where it gets sticky. Many people hold onto this false fallacy that they don’t need to earn money to be happy. That they just need love and air and yoga.

While love is beautiful and air is essential and yoga just feels damn good, it’s a myth to believe you can’t survive without money. You need something to pay for that body if you break your ankle (like I did last month, right?

Money is a vehicle that takes you where you want to go. It's not the destination or the starting point- it’s simply driving you to your destination.

If you don’t define your destination, you’ll get lost in the chase for money, and that’s a definite problem!

But How Does Anyone Actually Take Care of Themselves on a Budget?

I’m a therapist, so, yes, I understand that therapy, medication, and copays can all add up in cost. Healthcare is frustrating- I get it.

With that in mind, there are plenty of ways to take care of yourself and receive professional support without spending a ton of money. Shop around for sliding scale therapists. Consider generic options on your medication. Call nonprofit hotlines if you need to talk.

No doubt, you will need to spend some money to take care of yourself, but prevention will always cost you less than treatment. And, no, you don't need all the fancy self-help books or expensive workshops- I promise!

Author's Bio: 

Nicole Arzt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mental health freelance writer. She is the owner of Soul of Therapy.