William Marty Martin is used to hearing people worry about finances: “I don’t understand money.” “I’m not good at math; therefore, I’m not good at money.”

The associate professor of management at DePaul University knows that people often have fears, anxiety, depression and conflict about money. With this in mind, he wrote “The Inner World of Money: Taking Control of Your FinancialDecisions and Behaviors,” a book that addresses the psychology behind handling finances and offers tips for better money management.

Martin, one of the nation’s few psychologists who also has a master’s degree in financial planning, noticed that money problems were mentioned often among the clients he works with when consulting with wealth management firms. He found that literature mentioning money was “very dense and very academic,” so he decided to write an approachable book on the subject. Martin shares four main ideas from “The Inner World of Money” that can help people manage their finances.

  • Create an overall life plan to inform your financial plan. If you graduate at age 22 and want to retire in your 60s, you would have to plan to work—and save—for another 40 years. However, if people in your family live until their late 80s or 90s, “you should plan financially to make sure you don’t outlive your money,” Martin says.
  • The sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be. Martin encourages everyone to get in the habit of setting aside a certain amount each week, even if it’s only $5. Similarly, make it easy to save. Use automatic deposit for part of your paycheck so you don’t have to physically transfer money in order to save.
  • Take care of your health to create a financial payoff. Having good psychological and physical health could increase your earning capacity over time by allowing you to do better work, which could lead to new opportunities or a raise. Better health also could decrease out-of-pocket expenses for health care.
  • Recognize the emotions behind money. “When most people spend money, it’s not really rational or cognitive—there’s an emotional component to it,” Martin says. People should be aware if they are spending money to show off social status, to gain approval, to solidify a relationship, or to feel less anxious or depressed.

Martin encourages anyone with money anxiety to learn more about the topic. “There are many things that we’re knowledgeable about that we never took a class for,” Martin says. He recommends free money management software, financial literacy books and online resources including the National Endowment for Financial Education​, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“The Inner World of Money,” published in April 2012, is Martin’s first book. His second book, “Taming Disruptive Behavior,” will debut this year and will address workplace bullying in the healthcare field.

“I really like to do research that’s going to make a difference in the lives of people,” says Martin, who is also director of DePaul’s Health Sector Concentration program. “I never really know whether it does or it doesn’t, but my intent is to do something that generally helps individuals or organizations.”