Wondering how to stop worrying about money, when you’re a naturally anxious person? Financial stress can keep you up at night, suck all the joy out of your days and even lead to anxiety-related health problems.
But you don’t have to live with it!
This post is in collaboration with Kate, the creator of LoveMyAnxiousBrain.
Her website features step-by-step guides to supercharge your mental health, overcome anxiety, boost your body image, and quit toxic relationships.
If you find this post helpful and want more tips for managing anxiety you can also find her on Instagram @LoveMyAnxiousBrain
Keep reading to learn how to tackle your finances and your anxiety about money, with self-compassion and a clear plan.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Chances are if you’ve googled “why am I so anxious over money?” you recognize that there’s a link between how you feel and your worries with money.
But let’s revisit some of the symptoms of anxiety so that you can see if there are any other subtle physical or mental signs.
Common symptoms of anxiety:
procrastinating on things that feel overwhelming and or cause anxiety (e.g. setting a budget)
emotional spending aka retail therapy
physical symptoms- stomach aches, headaches, weak immune system due to chronic anxiety
stress-eating or losing your appetite
trouble focusing or concentrating on daily tasks
feeling irritable for no obvious reason
How do you stop worrying about money?
If debt stress and budgeting issues are giving you any of the symptoms above, here’s an eight-step plan for dealing with the situation.
Tackle your money worries one step at a time and you’ll feel your stress levels go down, as you start to take back control.
1. Show yourself compassion
Begin by sitting still and telling yourself that whatever situation you are in is something you can get out of.
Allowing yourself to create a judgement free zone can help boost your confidence and inspire you to make changes. It’s normal to have setbacks, doubts, and even worry occasionally over whether you are making good decisions.
But to establish good habits when it comes to money and handling your finances you have to trust yourself.
It can be frustrating to feel you are behaving differently but not understand why.
Now that you have identified with one or more of the common symptoms we can dive into how exactly you can tackle this issue without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Make a budget
A budget will become your blueprint for responsible spending and planning for the future.
Lay out your finances
This means printing out your bank statements and seeing exactly where your money is going.
I enjoy the process of scrolling through the app offered by my bank and hand writing my expenses.
Whether you handwrite your expenses or grab a highlighter and mark up your printed document by the end you should be able to answer a few questions.
How much do you spend on bills?
What are your bills?
What are you spending money on daily?
Do you spend a lot of money on yourself or your family?
By doing this you are not only learning your spending habits but laying down a foundation to lessen your money worries. If you find yourself beginning to judge the numbers on the paper take a second and pause.
Anxiety is often caused by uncertainty and our need to predict, plan, and over-analyse future events.
By writing out what bills are paid during each pay period it becomes easier to plan ahead without obsessing.