Hello, my dear readers! I love being productive. It makes me feel useful and alive. However, at the same time, if you lose the balance and become too busy, productivity may backfire and create problems for your personal finance. Here is a list of money issues that you may have to deal with because of overwork. How many of these can you relate to?
Outsourcing things that you can otherwise do yourself
If you are too busy working, you no longer have time to do things you otherwise can do yourself. You end up outsourcing many simple things to others simply because you don’t have enough time. Personally, I find that when I am too busy, I lose the motivation to make my own meals to bring to work, or even to brew my own coffee. I end up having to purchase lunch at work and eat food that I don’t exactly enjoy just to make sure that I am not hungry and can continue working.
Purchasing items at regular price because you have no time to look for deals or coupons, or to shop around
Some people may consider this too much of a hassle and don’t do it regardless of how busy they are, but if you are a money conscious individual, chances are you still look for deals and coupons sometimes. After all, who doesn’t love free money? However, if I am too busy, I may not even have the time to flip through the coupon books that come in my mailbox, let alone shopping around, or actively looking for deals online.
Of course, a potential side bonus of being too busy is that you may not even have the time to shop, which may end up saving you money. However, this only works if you treat shopping as a hobby. At the end of the day, you still need the essentials in your life. With no time to check for the best deals, you are more likely to prioritize convenience, and go pick up items at the nearest store without checking the prices at all.
Developing long-term health problems that may cost a lot of money to fix (if they can resolved at all)
Being too busy can cause long-term health issues that can wreak havoc to your personal finance.
Choose not to see a doctor when you have a small issue
I have heard of tragic stories when people are so busy that they neglected the warning signals their bodies were giving them, until it was too late. Even if it is not a life-threatening issue that you are dealing with (thank goodness in most cases it isn’t), delaying seeing a doctor can turn a little problem into a bigger one that will take a lot more time and money to fix.
Being busy is never an excuse for not seeing a doctor. Health is your number one priority because all other aspects of your life, including your work, your relationships, and your family, are built upon it.
You may develop chronic problems if you work too much
How many of you have had to deal with back pain and shoulder pain because you either sit too long in an awkward position typing away, or lift too heavy of a piece of equipment at work? I know I have to deal with some of these muscular and skeletal issues, and treating them can be painful and expensive.
Even though some of these issues can go away on their own, sometimes, if you don’t treat these issues properly, they can gradually worsen and become chronic problems. One of my co-workers who used to work in construction and didn’t properly take care of himself now has to deal with chronic shoulder pain. He can no longer sit in a meeting for an hour without feeling uncomfortable.
Any health problem cost money and time to fix. You may even have to time off work! Your body deserves your love and attention. No amount of productivity and money is worth it when the price you have to pay is your health. My mom always says, health is the 1, and everything else is 0. If you don’t have the “1”, it doesn’t matter how many 0s you have.
You may be addicted to bad money habits to help you relax
Many of us have at least heard of retail therapy. Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood. Although resorting to responsible retail therapy once in a while could help relieve stress, doing it too much can create a huge dent in your wallet. You may end up succumbing to impulse buys on a regular basis and purchasing items you don’t need just to get the adrenalin rush.
Overwork can cause mental health issues that need money to solve
Overworking could be source of chronic stress, which can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. If you work too much at all times, you may not have the time and energy to enjoy other aspects of your life, even those that come for free. There are certain things in life that money cannot buy, such as witnessing your kids’ graduation ceremonies and celebrating you and your partner’s anniversaries. You may eventually become unhappy because of all the sacrifices that you have made for the sake of productivity.
When you are unhappy, many issues can come to you. You may need to pay for counselling sessions, or even worse, you may attempt to use drugs and alcohol to try to escape reality. All of these can cause additional financial stress, not to mention how much further some of these habits can deteriorate your mental and physical health.
Having no time to take care of your relationships can lead to over-spending due to guilt
Being too busy at work very often means that you have much less time to take care of your relationships, whether with your parents, your spouse, your kids, or your friends and other family members.
Chronic lack of nurturing your relationships can cause or exacerbate misunderstanding between parties. Additionally, with no time for proper relationship building, you may feel bad and want to over-compensate by spending extra money.
For most of us, money is only one of many forms of expression of love and care. I personally value the quality of time I get to spend with my loved ones much more than the gifts that I receive from them. To me, spending a quiet evening after work in our back yard surrounded by people I love means a lot more to me than a mountain of gifts I receive from the same people.
Having no time to date may lead to unhappiness and emotional spending
I have heard of many of my friends (and many more online) who lament about having no time to date. If you don’t want to date or are perfectly happy being single, then this doesn’t apply to you. However, if you do want to date but can’t because you are too busy, then your productivity could turn into a source of stress rather than happiness. As I mentioned before, people who experience stress tend to spend more money on impulse buys, and may care less about maintaining a healthy relationship with their earnings.
A side benefit of having a significant other is that it may help improve your financial situation, assuming you are in a relationship with someone responsible. For those who live together, you get to split rent, utilities, and many other bills. You also get to file taxes together and can enjoy benefits like income splitting. Of course, although finding someone can help you save some money, it should never be your primary goal when it comes to dating. After all, finding someone compatible, even if it costs time and money, is much more important to your overall well-being.
How do you know if you are too busy?
It is very simple. You need to have a break if:
- Your body tells you that you are tired
- You can’t do anything unless you need multiple cups of coffee
- You can’t remember when was the last time you saw your closest friends, visited your parents, went on a date with your partner, or took your kids out to the park
- Your kids complain that you keep on missing out on events that matter to them
- You get a sickening feeling in your stomach when you think about your job that you didn’t hate before
- When you feel dissatisfied because you life is just a line between your home and your work
- You get sick often when you normally don’t
After all, you don’t want to burn out! So take care of yourself.
This blog post is purely focused on money issues that can arise because of overwork. But of course, overwork can have negative consequences on many other aspects of your life as well, such as your mental, physical and emotional health, and your general sense of well-being. Being productive is generally a good thing, but, just like most thing in life, there needs to be a balance.
To avoid burn out, you will want a clear prioritization map. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to help you prioritize all the things that are going on in your life.