Jan 03, 2020
Anxiety over finances affects everyone from time to time. Whether you have plenty of money or very little, it’s natural to worry that you don’t have enough or about your financial future. But simply having more money doesn’t guarantee freedom from anxiety.
In this post, we share some practical ways to cope with financial anxiety and maintain peace of mind when it comes to managing your money.
Know Where Your Finances Are At
Worrying will do you no good if you don’t even know what you’re worrying about. If you don’t have a clear picture of your financial situation, then you might be worrying over nothing at all. Carefully analysing your finances, and understanding where you're at, could be the first step to getting over your anxiety.
On the other hand, you can’t effectively address your anxiety if you deliberately choose to ignore your financial situation. You might be one of those people who gets anxiety just from seeing your bank account balance. Painful as it may be, you have to know exactly what you’re dealing with before you can regain control over your money.
Pick a day when you can sit down and go through your numbers. Conduct a financial health checkup. You might find out that you’re not as bad off as you imagined. Even if the situation looks grim, however, it will become more manageable once you know your financial baseline.
But how do you conduct a financial checkup if you don't know what you're looking for? This is where we highly recommend you sit down with an experienced financial adviser who can lead you through this process.
Face Your Fears
Accept the fact that financial anxiety is common and will always be there if you don’t keep it in its place. If you let that fear drive you to constantly try to earn more and more until you feel secure, you never will be satisfied and the cycle will continue.
Instead, address your concerns head-on. Ask yourself why you feel insecure financially or what your specific fears are.
Are you worried you won’t have enough saved up for your children’s education?
Do you fear that your investments will fail?
Terrified of another economic recession?
Suffer from job insecurity?
Do you struggle to save?
Do you have a habit of overspending?
Find out what your financial anxiety trigger is or identify the specific concerns you have and vocalise them out loud to yourself, your partner and your financial adviser.
If you’re going to fear the worst happening, then go a couple of steps further. Don’t stop with just imagining your worst financial nightmare coming true; imagine how you’ll cope and respond. Likely, you’ll realise that there is a way out and there is hope.
Look After Yourself
Don’t obsess with managing your money. Being too compulsive about monitoring your finances will give you no peace of mind.
Even when things feel out of control, you don’t have to let financial anxiety consume you.
Stick to a daily routine even if you have to cut back on certain expenses during times of financial struggle. Get up at the same time every day, exercise, eat breakfast and socialise with your friends and family. If you’re not working, use the extra time to do something that boosts your mood. Things like walking around outdoors, sketching, reading or taking up a new hobby.
You should also try to do something for someone else. Use your spare time to help others and volunteer. This can put your problems in perspective and even distract you from them.
Be careful to avoid self-indulgent habits in an effort to escape financial anxiety. Overeating, oversleeping and overdrinking will only make you feel worse and can negatively impact your ability to earn more and make smart decisions with your money.
Confiding in someone you trust is another excellent way to relieve your stress about money.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
Remember that there’s only so much you can do to secure your finances.
Once you’ve done all you reasonably could to tidy up your accounts, set a budget, create a financial plan and start up an emergency fund, it’s time to let go and live your life.
Money is there to help fund your life but there’s more to life than just money. Money in the bank can bring some peace of mind, but it won’t meet your physical needs or bring you happiness if it just sits there while you suffer unnecessarily. Worrying excessively about dollars and cents can negatively impact your relationships, happiness, health and quality of life.
So instead of focusing on just earning more and more to increase your net worth, make sure that you’re actually using the money you do have in a way that aligns with your goals and values to bring you true fulfillment.
Don’t just work for money; manage it with the goal of making it work for you. When you have a balanced view of your money, you’ll be able to enjoy life more and worry about your finances less.
Avoid Dodgy Schemes and Risks
When you're vulnerable, there's greater risk of making decisions that will hurt you in the long run. Dealing with debt by taking on more debt. Getting sucked in to 'get rich quick schemes'. The list goes on. If you're weighing up options to free you from financial anxiety, it pays to get advice before signing off.
Get Professional Help
If your financial situation is genuinely dire, then there are resources out there that you can leverage for relief.
Make financial anxiety a thing of the past. Work with leading financial advisors who can guide you towards financial success, and take care of your stress.
Written by Ben Calder at Calder Wealth Management.
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