4 Ways to Minimize Financial Anxiety
If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night to a money-related panic attack, you’re not alone. Our financial situation dictates so many parts of our everyday life. That said, excessive stress is a concern that should be addressed.
Money-driven anxiety is a growing concern in this uncertain economy. Ignoring your finances entirely isn’t the solution, nor is excessively fretting over every aspect of your finances. So what can you do to ease the burden of financial anxiety?
1.) Avoid the Comparison Trap
People tend to post the best version of themselves on social media. Try not to let this facade of vacations, dining out, and luxury items fool you into thinking that’s how everyone lives. Trying to keep up will likely only get you so far. Avoid stretching yourself to present a skewed image of your lifestyle to others.
There’s also a private element beyond these posts that goes unmentioned. We don’t see the time or commitment some people put into their careers. Some people, like influencers, may receive gifts from companies and may not be spending their own money on the trips/clothes/etc. they’re posting. There could also be plenty of debt as a result of maintaining this supposedly ideal lifestyle.
Instead of getting caught in comparison, try to focus on what you need to be happy. Understand what you need, create your own goals, and measure your progress against your past self.
2.) Start an Emergency Fund
It’s common for financial stress to stem from picturing the worst-case scenario.
“If I lose my job, how will I pay my bills?”
“What if a family member gets sick or injured?”
“Can I afford to fix my car if I get in an accident?”
While being aware of the worst possible situation can be constructive, fixating on it can be unhealthy. By building an emergency fund, you may reduce stress during unforeseen circumstances. Try tying this fund to your monthly budget to start building something to lean on when something unexpected pops up.
3.) Try Spending Socially, Not Materialistically
We humans are always wanting something, no matter how much we have. We accumulate possessions, they become old, we want something new, and the cycle continues.
According to research from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, participants were happier when they spent money on experiences versus material possessions in every category, regardless of how much the item cost.1
Try spending money on an experience with the people you love. Our closest relationships are often what ultimately make us happy!
4.) Continue to Educate Yourself
A holistic financial professional can review your entire financial picture or provide guidance in a specific area of concern. They can be great resources, and some even offer no-obligation initial meetings to discuss the basics of your existing financial plan - or help you define one, which is a good first step towards lessening the load of anxiety. Some financial professionals also offer free educational events or classes where you can improve your financial knowledge in a no-pressure group setting.
You can also do your own research, but be mindful of biases, conflicts of interest, and the sources that resources use. Ultimately, it’s your money, and you may feel more comfortable when you understand where you are financially, and what you can do to work towards achieving your goals.
Feeling nervous about the markets these days? Want some guidance or advice on your financial plan? Contact our office for a free financial review. We'll be happy to help put your mind at ease and make sure you're on the right track to achieving your most important financial goals.
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