Atlanta-based expert Buffie Purselle offers financial mental health tips

ATLANTA (CW69 News at 10) — A cycle of debt and reckless spending can take a toll on your mental health. Buffie Purselle, an Atlanta-based personal finance expert, shares some valuable tips on navigating through these challenges.

Purselle retired at the age of 41, after working for 20 years as a tax accountant, insurance agent and mortgage broker.

“Finances and your mental health are intertwined,” she said. “If you suffer from anxiety or depression or bipolar disorder, or if you suffer from memory disorders or dementia, how in the world are you going to be able to keep a budget?”

She says in addition to your mental state affecting your ability to manage your finances, your financial situation can take a toll on your mental health, especially during a pandemic.

“We shopped and used money that we didn’t need to use or didn’t necessarily have, and now people are finding themselves in a really, really bad predicament because of that,” she said.

Purselle says the pandemic has shown people don’t really have any savings, and it is drawing attention to the lack of financial stability millions of people are facing, particularly women of color. In her book called “Crawl Before You Ball: Breaking the Cycle of Generational Poverty,” she included several tips to take some of the load off.

“The first thing that you have to do is some self-reflection. You’ve gotta do what I call, “What had happened was,” she said, drawing comparisons to other programs that encourage clients to first acknowledge they have a problem. She also talked about going from living paycheck to paycheck and learning financial literacy.

“If we would just get to the basics of what are needs versus wants, stopping ourselves from those impulse purchases and quit trying to keep up with the Joneses, because they’re broke, we’d all be fine,” said Purselle.

If you’ve become a human ATM, perpetually lending or giving money to friends and family members, she says some advise from her psychologist husband may help.

“He said you can empathize with your family member without opening up your wallet. You can be there and witness them, you can give them advice and give them a shoulder to cry on without having to write a check,” she said.

She says mindfulness and meditation go a long way toward gaming things out.

“Even if you got an eviction notice, usually, they give you 30 days to figure it out, so you don’t need to like, go do something crazy like borrow some money or go cash in your 401k to fix the problem,” Purselle said. “Life is not about just survival. It’s about fulfillment and happiness and whatever you want it to be.”

For more tips from Purselle, click here.

Atlanta-based expert Buffie Purselle offers financial mental health tips