With so much going on at every moment, financial anxiety can really feel like the thing that’s going to make you hit your breaking point.
How can you possibly be expected to deal with all the other garbage when you feel like you have no money?
Health concerns = medical bills.
Wanting a break from work = finding the money to take a vacation.
Wanting to advance your career = paying for expensive schooling.
It can really feel like everything boils down to money.
And when you start to dwell on that way of thinking, it starts to feel like nothing is possible.
Suddenly, you realize you’re not fully in control of your finances, so you feel like you can’t possibly get a grip on anything else.
So, what’s the solution?
First of all, relax.
You’re gonna get through it.
You are not the only girl who feels this way.
In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that 72% of adults feel stressed about money. Big yikes. While I do not feel great about that statistic for our country, it does make me feel less alone.
And if other people have struggled, then other people have probably found solutions, too.
We know you’ve got a lot going on, so we’ve compiled a few of them for you. You. Are. Welcome.
5 Ways You Can Effectively Manage Your Financial Anxiety
- Make a Plan or a Budget or Whatever Works for You!
Make a plan, girl! Don’t just assume it will all work out eventually! I don’t know about you, but as soon as I stop avoiding a thing and make a plan for how to deal with it, I feel better.
Understand how much money you have coming in each month and plan accordingly. A budget can be a powerful tool for teaching yourself how and why you spend your money.
A simple way to start is to ask yourself what your “needs” are (rent, utilities, food – you know, stuff that keeps us alive) versus what your “wants” are (a pair of boots you saw in a window that are identical to a pair you already own but these are black instead of brown and will go with more stuff you own).
Don’t worry, there’s some cross-over between wants and needs — we know self-care is just as important as necessities.
But, if you have a plan to cover your necessities, you’ll be less stressed about life and have a better understanding of how many wants you can afford. Without sacrificing being able to pay your bills and stuff.
- Understand How Stuff Works — Even When It’s Overwhelming
We’re not taught a whole lot about personal finance in school, even though we ultimately end up having to deal with it every freaking day.
To go along with that whole plan and budget thing, it can also be super helpful to understand confusing concepts like your credit score.
If even that phrase gives you anxiety, don’t run away. We have helpful info, we promise.
Having a grasp on your credit worthiness will help you understand where you’re at in the grand scheme of your finances.
Do the credit score people think you’re reliable enough to take out a mortgage? Get an auto loan? Rent an apartment?
If not, now you know your starting point and how much you need to improve to achieve your goals.
A good score can also help you save money by helping you get better interest rates or allowing you to refinance debt. A good credit score can even save you money on insurance. Every little bit helps ease the financial anxiety!
If you have no idea what credit score or interest or refinancing means, now is the time to take a look.
The good news is, it won’t cost you anything. Managing your finances wisely by paying down debt and strategically utilizing credit will improve your score and give you a tangible marker of your progress!
If your score is lower than you expected, checking it can show you where you need to improve your financial habits.
- Build an Emergency Fund
We know this is easier said than done, but having some extra money tucked away will really ease your worries when life gets overwhelming. In case of a true emergency, you’ll have a back up plan. I can already feel the weight lifting off my shoulders.
Pick up a side gig or sell some unwanted belongings (maybe those identical pairs of boots?) and throw that money in a high-yield savings account. Before you know it, you’ve got a nice little pool of cash that can help you out in a sticky situation like a major vehicle repair or a sudden job loss.
When you know you’ve got the big stuff covered, you’ll be less stressed about the small stuff, we promise.
- Keep Track of Your Emotional Wellbeing
Being stressed in other areas of your life can impact your financial well-being. When you’re doing generally well, your financial situation might not seem so bad. When stuff starts to go South? Suddenly your finances can look a whole lot worse and now you’ve got even more anxiety than you started with.
When you’re more relaxed in other areas, you’ll have a clearer head about your finances. Or, if you’re someone who spends money when you’re feeling bad, checking in with yourself more often can save you money in that regard, as well.
- Ask for Help
Hey, that’s where we come in! If you’re a lot stressed about your financial future, there’s no shame in seeking professional advice.
You do not have to do everything alone (even when it feels like it). Planning ahead for savings goals like retirement can take a huge burden off your shoulders when you’re struggling with day-to-day expenses.
Have the big stuff taken care of, so all you have to worry about is getting through the day.
You can also often reach out to creditors directly to set up a plan specific to you if you’re struggling to pay off debt.
The worst thing you can do is just ignore your big looming financial problems, especially debt. Take our word for it, it won’t just magically disappear.
And, lastly, never feel ashamed to reach out to a mental health professional about your anxieties — financial or otherwise!
You deal with a lot and you absolutely deserve tools and a team who will get you through your rough patches.