How to Tackle Your Financial Anxiety
Whenever you make a purchase with your credit card, your stomach twists at the possibility that the transaction will be declined. You’re worried when you slide your debit card into the ATM that your account will somehow be empty. You are constantly thinking about money — whether you have enough of it, if you’re out of it and how much you need to pay back.
What you’re living with is called financial anxiety. It is a heightened state of awareness and stress about your personal finances. That awareness often leads to unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors, like avoiding financial decisions, ignoring debt or spending impulsively.
What Can You Do to Tackle Your Financial Anxiety?
Stop Avoiding Your Money
One of the worst habits that you might develop when you have financial anxiety is avoiding your financial matters. Since looking at your finances makes you feel stressed, you find relief by ignoring it.
But that doesn’t make the problem go away. If anything, that will make your financial problems worse.
The best thing that you can do is to stop practicing avoidance — practice interacting with your finances instead. This is called exposure therapy. By confronting your stressor in a safe way, you’ll eventually minimize your negative reaction to it. Eventually, you might get so comfortable that it’ll feel like a regular day-to-day activity.
What are some ways that you can ease your financial anxiety?
- Check your bank balances through your online banking
- Check your credit card statements through online banking
- Read through your credit report
- Download one of the top budgeting apps and build a monthly budget
- Calculate your outstanding debts and make a debt repayment plan
Build Safety Nets
Anxiety is often trying to warn you of potential danger. With financial anxiety, you are probably worried about suffering from a serious financial problem, like not having enough money to cover important payments.
One way to ease your financial anxiety is to create safety nets that you can rely on if this problem arises. A good financial safety net that you can set up for yourself is an emergency fund—this is a collection of personal savings reserved for urgent, unplanned expenses outside your budget. With an emergency fund, you can rest assured that you can handle sudden car repairs, home repairs or medical appointments without panicking about money.
In the early stages of your emergency fund, you might not have enough savings to handle an urgent expense. Don’t worry—you can set up other safety nets for yourself in this scenario. You could use your credit card to cover the expense quickly and then pay down the balance later. As long as your credit card’s balance is low, this is an effective solution.
Another option to look into is an online loan. An online loan could allow you to use borrowed funds to handle the emergency quickly. Similar to a credit card, you’d then follow a steady repayment plan after that. Click here to find out how to get a loan online and what qualifications you need to apply. It could be your backup plan when you don’t have enough savings.
Talk to a Professional
Is your anxiety keeping you up at night? Is it disrupting your work-life? Is it negatively affecting your relationships? These are signs that you should seek out mental health services for support. A professional therapist or counselor could help you find better ways to cope with your feelings.
Your financial anxiety doesn’t have to stick with you forever. You can tackle this problem!