How to Manage Your Financial Anxiety & Stress (Pt. 1)

1. Focus on the Positive

Start listing the positive aspects of your money management skills. Perhaps you have a great job, are regularly socking money away in a 401k or an IRA, and have a nice emergency fund saved up. Even when things are tight or money is causing you anxiety, taking a second to focus on where you’re going right can help you stay calm and clear your head.

2. Retool Your Budget

Check these items off your to-do list when your budget starts causing you stress:

  • Review. Go over your bills and expenditures, and make sure all your numbers are accurate by ensuring that receipts and bills match up with your budget.
  • Reduce. Check to make sure you’re in the black each month, since going into debt is generally the greatest cause of stress.
  • Pay Off. Create a debt payoff plan and stick to it so you have an idea of when your credit card balances, student loans, or car payments are going to be paid off – this knowledge alone can help you breathe a major sigh of relief.

3. Banish Financial Shame

When you’re feeling embarrassed about money, remember that taking the time to educate yourself and organize your finances – even if the numbers make you squirm – can set you on a healthier path for the future

4. See an Advisor

Many financial advisors offer a no-obligation, low-pressure first appointment as a way to get to know each other and consider the basics of your finances. The process is very much like seeing a therapist – but for your money.

5. Contribute to an Emergency Fund

If you haven’t started an emergency fund yet, begin with a goal of saving up just $1,000. Then, as you continue contributing, work your way up to at least six months’ worth of living expenses.

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