Haley Sacks, 31, better known as financial influencer Mrs. Dow Jones on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube, didn’t always have a good relationship with money. She knew how to spend it, sure‚ but she wasn’t in love with the idea of saving it for a rainy day—or investing it for tomorrow.
This lack of financial control eventually made her anxious.
“Up until 25, I would take an Uber around the corner and get a blowout before a workout,” Sacks says. “I was horrible with money. It was all about now and nothing for later, and it stressed me out completely.”
Today, Sacks says she has her money act together. She budgets. She saves. She invests for her future. And she has a financial plan to make it all happen. As a result, Sacks, who created the website financeiscool.com says she’s sleeping better at night and no longer living with money-caused fear and doubt. “I feel so much more relaxed, more present. I feel happier,” she says.
Does Financial Stability Equal Happiness?
Sacks’ change in mood is not necessarily surprising. A new study by Harris Poll found a direct link between good financial planning and better mental health.
According to the study, 54% of U.S. adults are anxious about their finances, with Millennials and Gen Z experiencing the most anxiety (66%). But, just as physical activity can often boost your mental health, being more financially savvy might be able to bring some sanity and stability to your life, too.
“People who identify as disciplined financial planners or work with a financial advisor report being happier and sleeping better,” the study authors wrote.
In fact, almost nine out of 10 study respondents who work with a financial advisor say they are happy, versus 72% who don’t collaborate with an advisor. And 84% of respondents who consider themselves “disciplined planners” say they’re happy, compared to 68% who are less disciplined in money-related matters.
Respondents also said they get better ZZZs when they have more control over their money. Three out of four disciplined planners (76%) say they sleep well, versus three out of five (62%) who lack financial discipline. An even greater number (81%) of those who work with an advisor report they sleep well.
The Importance of Financial Wellness
Sacks says financial wellness is a prerequisite for a more fulfilling life.
“Financial wellness, physical wellness and emotional wellness are the three pillars of happiness that lead to less anxiety,” Sacks says.
Taylor Price, 22, a Gen Z finfluencer best known on social media as @pricelessstay, recalls that her anxiety and money concerns were high when she was 18, living at home, going to school, working full time and bartending on weekends. “Eventually, I started going to therapy and learned to reprocess these anxious emotions,” she says.
Today, Price spends her time educating herself and others about personal finance. She’s found that the more she plans when it comes to money, the less stress she feels. “Having a financial plan and executing it by yourself or with an advisor does lessen money-related anxiety,” Price says. “I feel less anxious about money now that I’m focused on making smart financial decisions.”
Taking control over your money also comes with other key benefits, Price adds. Financial knowledge truly is power. The good habits you build now—whether that’s creating an emergency savings fund, paying your credit cards off on time or investing for retirement—the better financial outcomes you’ll have.
“It’s empowering because we get to have a choice about how we want to live our lives,” Price says. “Simply put, humans strive for clarity, not just in their financial lives, but in their daily lives, too. Clarity gives us that desirable ‘peace of mind’ and eliminates distractions that steer us away from financial success.”
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Adam Shell is a freelance journalist. He’s worked as a financial markets reporter at USA Today and an associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.