It’s a beautiful day outside and your house is all clean. A nice weekend is ahead of you, and it seems as if nothing could go wrong. But you find yourself being paranoid about a lot of things – especially about money. Financial fears keep you from enjoying your day, and you are anxious about the future. Stress starts to build up. Daily Worth defines this phenomenon as “money anxiety disorder”. The term started being used at around 2008 or 2009, and is described as a constant unease and concern over one’s financial well-being. The article assures us that this is perfectly natural. A lot of people worry about money. But if it starts to ruin even the most perfect day, maybe it’s time to stop worrying, and start acting upon financial problems.
How do we fix money fnancial problems, as well as the worry that comes with it? Don’t worry. There are several measures that can help you ease up on your financial worries.
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- Find the good from the bad.
Before stressing yourself out about all the possibilities and financial Problems revolving around your financial position, think about the good things first. Sure, there are always dilemmas when it comes to dealing with money. However, being negative will only serve to make you feel bad. Instead of focusing on being pessimistic, try listing down positive things about your financial position. Are you good at budgeting expenses? List that down. Do you have a relatively good credit standing? Add that to your list. By accurately and honestly assessing your good points, you can make yourself feel more relaxed and maybe you’ll realize that there’s nothing to worry about after all.
- Don’t stress about others.
We are in a generation where almost every detail about our public lives is exposed to the internet. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are only a few of the social media platforms in which we can interact with our peers. It is also where we can see a piece of their everyday lives. How they spend their day, where they go on vacation, who got that promotion and who’s celebrating their birthday in the ritziest restaurant in town. Seeing the people we know look so happy and fulfilled financially may make us feel insecure about our own situation. Don’t let it get to you.
Encourage yourself and think of the bright side. What do you have that they don’t? Go back to your list and ponder if they have these on their own. You never know. Your friends who just went vacationing abroad may be enjoying themselves by taking out a ridiculous loan, or they could secretly be juggling their ample income with their luxurious tendencies. Either way, whether those people can afford it or not is not your problem. You have your own life and you can enjoy it under your own means. Happiness is not measured relatively.
- Don’t be ashamed.
If you can’t afford a nice house or go bar hopping like everyone else, so what? Again, go back to your positives. If you can afford to maintain your lifestyle and answer to your needs, you are very fortunate. There are a lot of hungry and homeless people out there who would wish to trade places with you. Everyone has had financial problems. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. If you adopt that positive mindset, you will be able to face your situation better.
Accept your financial problems.
If you are indeed going through rough times right now, being both positive and practical is the way to go. Don’t deny it. Acknowledge the financial problems concerning your anxiety so that you can start moving forward and make a plan to counteract them. Jot down the things that are bothering you, and get to the root of your financial problems. Then you can start planning.
- Consult your partner. (Or your family members)
An effective way to make yourself feel better about your money situation is to consult your partner. After all, you share the same home and financial dilemma. By talking it out, you’ll find comfort in the fact that you are not dealing with your financial problems alone. Speaking about it will also allow you to share your opinions and suggestions and find the best way that is most suitable for your family.
Also, it is best to make sure that you’re not keeping any money secrets. Sudden revelations of debt, failed investments, and shocking purchases will only add to the burden that you are feeling. By being open to each other about where your money is going, you can establish a sense of trust and comfort with each other, as well as prevent uncomfortable financial situations.
- Analyze your habits.
What kind of person are you when it comes to money? Are you an investor? A miser? A big spender? A compulsive credit card swiper? By determining your financial character, you will be able to set out a plan that is tailored especially for your personality. This ensures that you are transitioning yourself to a healthier financial lifestyle while adapting to who you are. It also helps to fix any bad habits that can affect your cash flows.
- Create goals.
It’s not enough to just want to get rid of your financial anxiety. It is also important to figure out what points you need to tackle to achieve the bigger picture. Goals can be short-term to long-term. List down your expectations and how long until you think they can be accomplished. Be realistic and specific. Do you want to reduce your debt? Improve your credit standing? Reduce expenses by 20%? Make a list of your goals by priority. Once you have established your objectives, then you can easily make a strategy in order to achieve them.
- Give your budget a makeover.
Maybe the reason you’re worrying so much is because you’re unsatisfied about your current budget plan. Try mixing it up from time to time. Even little changes will make an effect and will also make you feel better for being proactive about your situation.
- Track your income and expenses.
Income less expenses equals savings. That’s the basic formula. It may seem like a simple concept, but remember- if expense exceeds income, then you’re not saving. You’re losing money. Review how much you’re earning over a period, then list down the expenses you’re spending on for that same duration. How much of your income are you saving? Nowadays, there are mobile apps available that can analyze your income and expense ratio. Take advantage of the wonders of technology and evaluate your spending habits.
Better yet, mix up the income-expense formula. Take out your savings first, then budget the rest of your money for expenses. You may be delighted to find that after reviewing your spending and making some adjustments, you’re saving more than you were before!
- Improve income, reduce costs.
What more obvious way to increase cash flow than to earn more money? You may find yourself secure with your employment status right now, but one can never tell. Give your family additional security by making allowances for other investments and finding more sources of income. Extra money coming is always welcome.
Pinpoint areas where you can reduce your spending. Do you need to go to the spa every weekend? Does that expensive brand of perfume really smell so much better than more affordable brands? By reducing your expenses, you are ensuring a larger portion of savings that will make you feel more leveraged and secure.
- Settle debts.
Do you still have some outstanding debts? Interest charges are a thorn in the side. The longer you take to pay up, the more you have to pay in total. Start working on relieving yourself of debt while you can. There are numerous debt relief programs available out there – some are accessible through the internet. Take the steps while that debt isn’t too unmanageable, and you’ll find your shoulders a lot lighter once it’s been taken care of.
- Keep up the habit.
Doing it all at once won’t banish financial anxiety forever. Returning to old habits will only make these feeling resurface. Practice a healthier financial lifestyle and keep it up.
- Think of the worst-case scenario.
“I’m already stressed over money. Why make it worse?” Surprisingly, imagining the worst case scenario makes one realize how ridiculous the idea could be, and can help you go back to the reality that you’re not doing that bad after all. Additionally, thinking about the worst thing that could happen will also allow you to accept that possibility. Instead of simply worrying over it, it will encourage you to make plans to ensure that you won’t have to reach that point.
- Create an emergency fund.
It’s not enough that you have savings. Think. What are they for? For your future? For your kid’s college fund? For your retirement? One more reason to put away your money in the piggy bank is for emergencies. You can never tell when someone will get sick, have an accident, or if some unexpected expense arises. By setting up an emergency fund, you are not only acknowledging the possibility of your financial fears becoming reality – you are also equipping yourself to be prepared for them.
- Ask for advice.
Sometimes, there are cases when you cannot face your financial problems alone. You may require the assistance of other people so you can clearly pinpoint the source of your financial problems and deal with it.
Whether it’s a trusted friend, family members, or a professional financial advisor, one can feel more secure when they receive helpful tips from others. It confirms suspicions, relieves anxieties, and gives more options on how to face financial crisis. There are affordable consultants readily available to give advice and seminars about personal finance, as well as debt counselors that can offer debt management programs. Debt management programs are designed to help an individual manage all of their credit transactions with a single plan, as well as learn how to effectively organize and prioritize payments.
Worrying about money is normal. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. A positive attitude will help curb financial anxiety. But if you really want to banish those insecurities for good, stop worrying and start acting now.