You know the feeling. Your heart starts beating fast, you get tight in your shoulders and it feels like you can’t breathe.
You’re having an anxiety attack.
It seems these days anxiety has become so second nature, that many people forget what it feels like to actually live without anxiety, especially when it comes to money.
Maybe you currently have anxiety around the taxes you owe. Or maybe you just found out you need to replace your roof and it will cost $10,000 and you have no idea where that money will come from.
Or how about the unexpected costs of your kids? On top of feeding them, paying for their school and extracurricular activities, you also have to find some way to start saving for their college!
How the heck will you ever be able to do everything on your salary?
When it comes to anxiety with your money, there are some strategies you need to learn to help you overcome these emotions and deal with them head on. While I am no therapist or expert on anxiety, I have learned a few secrets to help you deal with the anxiety you may have with your money.
1. Come back to the present moment.
Most of our fears and anxieties come from our mind. The past or the future. So many times you worry about something in your financial life that will never even come true. Let me give you an example.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a woman and she asked me, “Brittney, the stock market seems to be at an all time high and like it might have a huge sell off soon. Should I be worried?”
Now, this is definitely a fair question and one I get often, so I followed up with “well it depends, what are you invested in and what is your goal for that money you have invested?”
Her reply couldn’t have demonstrated this tip any better. She answered, “Oh I don’t have any money invested in the stock market right now.”
“WHat!?!? Then why are you even asking me this question and worried about something that has nothing to do with you right now?” I said.
I know this seems basic, but I cannot tell you how many people do EXACTLY this when it comes to their money. They worry about things in the future that have ZERO impact on their financial lives what so ever and create anxiety out of nowhere.
So if you find yourself doing this same thing, then when you notice it, simply come back to the present moment and stop that train of thought by connecting to what is actually happening in your life right this minute. This takes practice and vigilance but it can be done and it can help you live without anxiety with your money.
2. Focus on what you can control.
Similar to coming back to the present moment, focusing on what you can actually control also helps you reduce your anxiety with money. So much in life is out of our control yet so much is in our control and often I find people focused on the wrong side of the spectrum.
They read the news, listen to the chicken little on TV telling them the sky is falling and get all wound up in a ball of anxiety.
Instead, I suggest you get a financial plan in place, create a budget, map out clear financial goals, and work with a financial planner to use your income in the best way to reach these goals.
Then, set up systems and check -ins so you hold yourself accountable to what you can control and take action on in your daily financial life.
Yes, the world may still end, yes, the stock market will still fluctuate up and down and yes, those pesky unexpected expenses will still continue to pop into your life to deal with, but at least you have a clear game plan and are taking action and doing the best you can with what you currently have going on in your financial life.
When you do take action on what you can control, you will find yourself more clear headed and present to deal with those challenges as they come and not default into worry, anxiety and stress like most people do because they lack the clarity that is available to them through planning and small daily actionable steps.
3. Read a financial book.
You’ve heard it before but I will say it again.
You have to remain a student of the game.
Money is a game just like life and you have to commit to a lifetime of learning how to play this game. I suggest you read a financial book every month or so and continue to learn personal finance and different strategies and tips you can implement in your financial life to make it better and better every year.
It takes years to become a master of a subject so just because you read one finance book 5 years ago, does not make you an expert in the subject or immune to the challenges and emotions money brings.
I have been a financial planner for 11 years now and have worked with thousands of clients on their financial plans, budgets and strategies.
I’m also a Certified Financial Planner and have spent years learning about money and finance, yet I still learn something new every day! That is because I stay open and want to continue to learn and refine the knowledge I have.
And also the world keeps changing! You cannot stay stuck in your past and what you used to know. You have to stay current with the times and continue to learn. Read a book, hire a financial coach, work with a financial planner and do whatever it takes to expand your money knowledge year after year.
With more knowledge comes the potential for more clarity, power and confidence with your money and these will help battle those times when your little anxiety friend wants to come in and take over. To get good at anything in life you must practice and money is no different.
Practice these tips and enjoy your financial successes and failures as it is all part of the journey to living the financially wise life.
Now, I’m curious to know, what has helped you deal with anxiety in your financial life? Let me know as I would love to showcase your answer in our community to help even more just like you become financially wise.
Until next time,