If you are trying to cope with fears or anxiety about your finances, you may feel alone, but you’re not. According to a Google Consumer Survey hosted by Go Banking Rates, 62% of American families have under $1,000 in savings. And to add to that, 25% don’t have a savings account at all. With that kind of data, you’re not in this alone. Data shows that more families than not are where they want to be with their finances, and it’s logical to think that these same families are facing some kind of anxiety. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can take on that anxiety head-on and deal with the problem.
Admit to Your Anxiety and Problem
You’ll first need to face this head on. Instead of stuffing the feelings down and ignoring them, it’s time to face it. There are a number of financial situations that may be causing the problem like the inability to put money away, build a savings account, lack of emergency funds, etc. Knowledge what is causing the anxiety and admit it. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to sit around causing yourself further upset by recounting past mistakes or things you could have done differently. Instead, understanding the root cause of the issue will allow you to focus from there on how to chance the situation.
What Are You Telling Yourself?
Instead of facing the anxiety, until now, what have you been telling yourself about it? What role does money play in your life? Are you always thinking about your finances, always looking for ways to make more? Which of the following do you closely identify with?
Money Avoidance: Thinking money is inherently bad and a source of anxiety.
Money Worship: Thinking happiness is contingent on having enough money (and there can never be too much money).
Money Status: When you believe your self-worth is interchangeable with net-worth.
Money Vigilance: When you see yourself as a steward of your money that must be carefully handled and intentionally directed.
Which do you most identify with? Getting honest with yourself and how you relate to money can help you overcome any anxieties you may have around your finances.
Talk With Someone About the Issue
We get it, this is incredibly difficult. No one wants to openly volunteer how much money is in their account, what’s keeping them up at night, or what has them stressed out. However, openly talking about money is important and provides with you the opportunity to gain outside perspective and learn new money-management tips. Go to a financial planner, therapist, a friend or family member. One or all of these people will have more insight on how you can cope, come up with a game plan, face the issue head on, and remove the anxiety from your life.
Create Financial Goals
Alright. You have acknowledged the problem and you’ve discussed it to get that valuable insight. Now it’s time to put a plan in place to conquer the anxiety. Start by creating goals. If you’re anxious because of a lack of emergency fund for your family, ask yourself how you can make that happen? How much can you comfortably put aside each paycheck to start to build that emergency fund.
If you are looking to start building a retirement account, research the best way to do that based on your age and your anticipated financial needs. Then, take action, while staying within your budget, to start creating that financial security for yourself.
By creating these goals, following through with them, and ultimately achieving your goals you will alleviate the stress and anxiety you feel over your financial concerts. You’ll have a clear focus of where you are now, where you want to be, and how to get there. These specific goals will be the foundation you will use to take the steps to accomplish each goal.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Unless you have intimate knowledge of another person’s finances, there is no way you can really know what’s going on with anyone else. It may be nice to look at your friend who buys everything they could possibly want and envy their financial freedom. But, it’s very likely that you don’t know what financial concerns they have, if they are over-spending, or causing themselves more debt.
Comparing your finances with other people is only going to bring you further stress and anxiety. Break the cycle of looking what other people are doing. We know that’ll be hard, but it very important to overcoming your own financial concerns.
Do What It Takes
You’ve got it all place. You have acknowledged what you’re facing, you’ve sought after advice, made a plan, and promised to quit comparing yourself with others. But, you’re required to follow through here. It’s not enough to come up with the plan, you must do the work to rid yourself of that anxiety once and for all. Don’t cut corners during the process, don’t allow yourself to slide back into it. Commit to doing what it takes to overcome your financial anxiety.