One of the most challenging obstacles you can take on this year is trying to manage financial anxiety. What makes this difficult is the fact that the past year was tough on almost everyone. No one expected the health crisis to have such an effect not only on the healthcare industry but even the economy as well. It was so severe that millions of people lost their jobs.
Job loss was due to the fact that a lot of companies and businesses had to pivot their way out of severe financial loss. Some companies, especially those in the essential industry would have been able to continue operations. For some businesses, their operations allowed their employees to work remotely and stay at home. But for others, they were forced to let go of people.
This led to a lot of people having to manage financial anxiety due to the sudden change in their finances. Being let go from work is not an easy transition for you and your family. Your finances will take an abrupt turn from being able to cover your expenses to zero. The stress that comes in knowing that you need to do something about it fast will keep nagging at you until you resolve the problem.
Even with the stimulus checks, this is not enough to get you out of the woods which the current administration is pegging at $1,400 according to CNBC. Much more so if you have a whole family to think about. If you do not have any emergency savings, this is where you start to rely on your credit cards. Or worse, dip into your retirement fund where you lose growth from your savings while being slapped with penalties for early withdrawal.
These are just some of the situations you have to deal with that can cause financial anxiety. If you are dealing with it, here are a few things to help you move forward in the right direction.
Own up the problem
One of the best ways to manage financial anxiety is to acknowledge that you are going through it. This seems like a trivial step but you would be amazed at the number of people who choose to look the other way. If you do not acknowledge the problem, you will have a hard time convincing yourself that you need to solve it. USA Today shares that about 34% of Americans were thinking about the rising cost of food and other essentials.
For a lot of people, this is the hardest step to take. Some choose to believe they are too tough to even have anxiety problems. Others think that it is just a phase that they will pull out of it in just a few days. Whatever the case may be, acknowledging the problem is an important first step. This will help you open up to finding solutions to your problem.
Do not live in your head
Living in your head when you have anxiety means choosing to dwell on your problems without any desire to find a way out. There are times when it seems too much to handle that and you feel you cannot get out. Your payments are too big, your payment deadline is too close, you have too many payments to meet, and so on.
After you acknowledge the problem, do not dwell on it. Choose to move forward from your problems. Everyone goes through a financial problem of their own. The thing is you need to push through and persevere. You might be led to believe that some people have it easy in life but they too go through their own financial problems.
The financial challenges other people face might look similar to yours but their situation is entirely different. They could be coming from a different social background and would have an entirely different view on money. As a result, the impact of money problems can be different. Focus on your own challenges and move forward at your own pace.
Take small steps to manage financial anxiety
One of the best ways to manage anxiety is to commit to a plan of action. With a goal in mind of being able to pull yourself out of your current situation, start with small steps. This can help you get started moving forward going in the right direction. It will not overwhelm you as well increasing your chance of sticking to your plan.
If you are worried about your payments, find out how much you need to pay exactly every month. Then figure out if your income can meet all these. If it can, then it is a matter of staying on top of your payments. If this is the case, then debt consolidation can help. It is where you combine most, if not all your payments under one account. This allows you to monitor one payment every month.
If your income is not enough, then you have your work cut out for you. You can begin to call your lenders to check if they offer any assistance to help you lower your payments. While doing that, start looking for ways to further lower down your expenses. If you are already at bare-bones budget, then explore a side hustle. The idea is to identify an action plan, start small but act on it. You will slowly build-up to the momentum and begin crossing out your problems one after the other.
Do not be afraid to ask for help
One of the possible reasons why you are trying to manage financial anxiety is trying to do everything by yourself. It might be the way you were brought up or you feel there is no one you can depend on. But if you are facing all the problems on your own when there are people ready and eager to help, then you might want to consider getting some support.
Remember that accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It is in fact proof of a strong character. You need to know when you need help because if you choose to go through your financial problems all by yourself, you can end up doing more damage than good. Do not be afraid to ask for help but be wise on who you approach for help.
You need to know the people around you and determine if they have your best interest at heart. Normally, it would usually be your family such as your parents or siblings, and especially your partner. But there are times as well wherein friends you have known for a long time can be of most help. Do not be afraid to reach out to finance professionals as well. They are actually in the best position to help you look over your situation and give you options on how to move forward.
Start with small steps
This cannot be stressed enough when you are trying to manage financial anxiety. One of the reasons is that you might try to begin with big and bold steps only to fall short after a few tries. This can quickly deflate whatever confidence you have built up. It can also make it more challenging for you to get back up and start again. Begin with small and baby steps and just put one foot in front of the other. The next thing you know, you are already running.
No one said it will be easy to manage financial anxiety but it will only be impossible if you start to give up. You need to acknowledge the problem, create a plan to get out of it, and stick to that plan.