With all the issues and problems you face on a daily basis, it is not surprising to find yourself trying to manage financial anxiety. There are a number of money issues you deal with continuously. Your credit card payment may not be limited to one card. Not to mention that you could be paying the highest interest rates on your card.
There is also a big chance that the biggest amount you have in your budget is for house payments. Regardless of whether you are paying down a house or renting, that will be a significant amount. You might also have student loan payments which really takes a long time to pay off. Then you have your daily expenses for the house as well as utilities.
All these combined can take its toll on your budget. It might not be long before you have to manage financial anxiety. You may not know it but you are already in the midst of it trying your hardest to survive and get through day by day.
What is it?
Financial anxiety is generally a result of stress. You start having feelings of apprehension in your daily life. You start to fear what’s to come as you live day by day. That feeling of being anxious also lends a certain level of fear in different areas of your life. You might start getting afraid of reporting to work because you do not know what to expect.
You might also have a hard time sleeping because you are constantly thinking about your finances non-stop. It is also possible that you wake up in the middle of your sleep all worried about what you have to do next.
What causes it?
Stress is usually the culprit behind these things and identifying the cause is an important step in trying to manage financial anxiety. As the Cleveland Clinic defines it, stress is a reaction of your body which requires it to respond or make adjustments. For some people, even a positive change can bring about stress because something new is happening.
When left unchecked, stress can manifest into a lot of negative situations in your life. It can affect not only your finances but even your physical and mental faculties. Your emotions can also be negatively affected. These are just some of the reasons why you need to make sure that you are on top of this situation.
How to address financial anxiety?
If you are trying to manage financial anxiety already, there are a few things you can look into to help you get through it. The road ahead can be challenging but if you do not get to it now, you can be in a position where it will be difficult to get out.
Assess your situation thoroughly and calmly
The first thing you need to do is understand your situation very clearly. Anxiety can have a number of triggers and if it is the first time it has happened, it might be tricky to figure out the cause. Digging deep means looking at several factors that are happening in your life at present. It does not only revolve with your finances but your personal affairs as well.
Your stress can be triggered by obvious reasons such as coming up short on your income or having to deal with sudden expenses you did not plan for. Other times, it can be a little difficult to understand. It is possible that you are anxious because a relative is visiting and your house needs a lot of repairs and renovations to make it presentable.
Separate things you can change and those you cannot control
The next part is critical if you want to manage financial anxiety properly. One thing you need to understand is that there are certain things you cannot control in life. If you are stressed out because you missed that one chance to work in a company you dreamed of, you cannot go back and demand that they offer you a job.
However, what you can control is how you can build up your skills and credentials so you can land the job the next time you try. You can take online courses to help you know more or get relevant experience from other companies. This way, you can come back with an application that will be hard for your dream company to turn down.
The same goes for your finances where you need to identify the areas you can and cannot control. You cannot tell the store to sell you what you need at a lower price. However, you can find ways to increase your income or lower other expenses so you can buy what you need. Focus on the areas you can control so you can manage your anxiety.
How to prevent it?
Now that you have an idea of what financial anxiety is and how you can manage it, the next question is if there is a way for you to prevent it from happening in the future.
Learn from mistakes made
If were able to manage financial anxiety in the past, you need to make sure that you learn from the lessons it has given you. This is one of the best ways to move forward and you come out smarter and a better version of yourself. The key thing here is having the ability to take away the learning from a very challenging time in your life.
Put safeguards to prevent the same thing from happening again
Once you have identified those lessons, it is time to put them into action and create financial safeguards to help prevent another anxiety attack. If the problem before was that you did not have an emergency fund or that it was lacking to help you through a tough time, it is time to start putting more in that fund to prevent the same thing from happening again.
If your anxiety stems from an insecurity that you might lose your job one day, you might want to start diversifying your skills. This opens up your options when it comes to getting a job. Another option you can look at is to look for ways to earn from your hobby. You can turn it into an income-positive hobby to help you earn more every month. This is your chance to do something you love while being paid for it.
If you love painting, you can get commissioned work from family and friends. You can also start offering your talent to art aficionados. It is a bonus if your hobby helps you battle stress and anxiety attacks. You get the chance to stay away from stress and earn money in the process. It is a win-win situation for you when you think about your finances.
It will be a challenge to try and manage financial anxiety since you need to look at what is really causing it and treat it at its source. The process to identify, address, and ensure that you lower the chance of it happening again is not as simple as it sounds. However, that is not an excuse to give up and let your emotions get the better of you. There is something you can do but only if you back it up with dedication and perseverance.