With so many things in the world in flux right now, it’s easy to let your stress — about anything — skyrocket. It’s not going to do you any good to stew in your anxieties, though. Money tends to rank at the top of the list of common sources of stress for Americans. This is likely more true than ever these days. We’ve pulled together a list of tips for dealing with financial anxiety to help you cope.
Take Things One at a Time
Trying to make every decision at once will quickly lead a quicksand effect. You’re going to feel yourself getting sucked into a pit of despair and clawing your way out can feel impossible. Tackling decisions one at a time allows you to do research and find the best path forward.
Re-Evaluate Your Financial Goals
Are you trying to split your paycheck into to many pots? If your income can’t cover all your financial goals, you’re going to be stuck constantly feeling like a failure.
Track What You Spend Money On
Stress often comes from not understanding the problem. It’s that lack of knowledge that makes finding solutions so difficult, too. So sit down and really look at where your money goes.
Come up with a list of priorities for your money. When you have that in place, you know what needs to get paid first and what can get cut first in difficult times.
Look At Your Resources
Try to get a picture of all the places you currently are or could be bringing in money. That might include side gigs like freelancing or your Etsy shop.
Stay Away from Temptation
If you look at your credit card statement from the past three months, it’ll become quickly apparent what your temptations are.
Do you tend to reward (or comfort) yourself with purchases like video games or clothing? Find substitutes that cost less or don’t cost anything at all that still make you feel good.
Understand Your Stress Response
How do you tend to respond to stress in general? Some people will double down on what caused the problem — spending money to make themselves feel better about their messy finances. While understandable as a response to anxiety, it’s obviously not a good way to make the root problem go away.
Ask for Help
Money issues is one of the most common sources of anxiety, and there are tons of solutions out there. Even if you can’t make your problems disappear, you can change how you feel about them. Reach out to friends and family for advice or a professional for support.
Understand the Cycle
Tackling stress over your finances once isn’t a permanent solution necessarily. You’ll need to keep on it and continue to make progress over time.