How to Deal with Financial Anxiety

How Do I Know How Much I Can Afford to Pay for a Home?
January 28, 2020
Top Tips for Saving Money
February 17, 2020

How to Deal with Financial Anxiety

Financial anxiety is a demon that haunts many Americans from all walks of like. It is not just people in low-income brackets that worry about money. Even the rich and powerful often feel anxiety around their finances. According to a 2016 study by renowned financial services company Northwestern Mutual, 85% of Americans report feeling some level of anxiety around money, and it often creates negative impacts on their health, social lives, relationships, and careers. Here are some suggestions on how to recognize and deal with financial anxiety.

Ways to Prevent Financial Anxiety

One way to prevent financial anxiety is to avoid getting yourself into debt in the first place. Our society encourages over consumerism. Advertisements are continually bombarding us, telling us to buy this or shop for that. The best advice is to create a financial budget and stick to it. If that vacation to Costa Rica is not in your budget, resist the urge to buy it anyway.

Signs of Financial Anxiety

Symptoms of financial anxiety are similar to any other type of anxiety and usually result in behaviors like excessive worry, irritability, difficulty focusing, addiction to food drugs, or alcohol, and insomnia. Stress is a significant cause of many diseases, such as heart disease and eating disorders.

Other common signs of financial anxiety include:

  • An obsession with being frugal
  • Discomfort with accumulating wealth
  • Feeling depressed about finances
  • Overspending
  • Relying entirely on others to handle finances
  • Inability to change financial behaviors despite incentives to do so
  • Repeatedly giving money to adult children or other relatives
  • Feeling afraid to make financial decisions

Set Aside Time to Work on Your Finances

Americans are busy, busier than any other nation, so it’s easy to avoid working on your finances because you’re too busy. The best thing you can do is schedule regular intervals to set a budget, review your budget, and make changes to your budget. It could also include things like contacting an accountant or learning about a new bookkeeping system.

Be Aware of How Your Mind and Body React

Start paying attention to how your body and mind reacts when you discuss money or make any financial decisions. How do you feel when you check your account balances online? What about when you share your fee structure with a new client or sit down to work on your taxes. If you have a physical reaction to money tasks or conversations, such as sweaty palms or a racing heartbeat, acknowledge it. Also, try to dig deeper and find a name for the emotion. Are you feeling guilty, angry, or disappointed? If so, figure out why.

Get Help

Dealing with financial anxiety includes both internal and external actions. For example, external activities involve taking the necessary steps to create a budget or decrease your spending, or maybe even hiring financial professionals like a tax expert or bookkeeper. Interior factors include working on your thoughts and behaviors. You might want to visit a counselor, learn to meditate, or start taking yoga classes.

Remember, the worst thing you could do about financial anxiety is to ignore it. When you ignore your feelings, they usually fester until they reveal themselves in some unhealthy way. Primary Residential Mortgage is happy to help. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

 

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer