Are you dealing with financial anxiety about the coming year? If so, you’re not alone. There are many Americans who are struggling with this feeling – and many reasons why they might be struggling.
Learn more about financial anxiety, its causes, and the best ways to address to create a bright and promising year:
What exactly is financial anxiety? Financial anxiety – or financial stress – is a persistent worry or feeling of dread related to money. This can happen for many reasons and is incredibly common – especially in the last few years since the coronavirus pandemic.
While the problem is very common, it is no less dangerous. Given the number and severity of health concerns that can be brought on or worsened by stress, it is no wonder so many people are caught in a cycle of anxiety leading to illness and then to more anxiety, in turn!
The problem is, most treatments for anxiety itself do little to address the root cause of financial anxiety – money and its impact on our lives. That is why learning more about this sneaky form of stress and how to address it can be a boon not only for your peace of mind, but for the health of your mind and body, too!
Before you can do anything else to alleviate your financial stress, you should address the most common culprit: debt.
For most people, student loan, medical, or credit card debt hangs over their lives like a shadow. If this describes you, it might be a good idea to talk to a Florida bankruptcy attorney to learn how a bankruptcy or other option might help you get your debt under control. This way, you can move forward with planning a less stressful financial future.
Once you have a plan in place, begin paying down your debt sensibly. The sooner you can get it paid off, the less it will worry you – and the better you will feel about your finances!
Once you have a manageable plan in place to get your debt under control, it is time to take a look at your budget.
Are you spending more than you are bringing in each month? Do you find that there is nothing left over to put into savings? Does your money seem to disappear before you can make use of it? If so, you need better spending habits.
Start by tracking your spending for one to two months. This will give you the most accurate picture of where your money is really going. Things like monthly bills, housing expenses, gas, and groceries are obvious necessity. However, many people do not realize how much money they are spending on things they do not really need until they start tracking those expenses.
Once you know more about where you tend to spend money, it is time to make adjustments. For most people, this means cutting out unnecessary expenses. It may also mean changing the products or services you buy, such as choosing generic grocery items or less expensive services for your home, car, and other necessities. This way, you can save money in as many areas of your life as possible.
Most households have one to two incomes. This makes sense, since the adults in a household are generally the ones working – and most households are headed by one to two adults.
However, gone are the days when a single income could comfortably support an entire family. These days, many people are adding additional streams of income to beef up savings and make it easier to make ends meet.
This does not have to mean getting a second job or having an additional family member working outside the home. While that is certainly one way to make additional income, there are plenty of others. Some examples might be:
Remember, an additional income may come with some upfront costs, especially if you are setting up a website or making tangible products. However, this investment should never involve paying to work for a company. This is the marker of a pyramid scheme or multilevel marketing company, the former of which is illegal and the latter of which is rarely successful. Choose the source of your extra paycheck wisely!
Once you have your income in order and your debt under control, it is time to set up a savings account. You might want to save for retirement, for your child’s college education, or just for major expenses. But you should also be saving for an emergency.
The pandemic taught the world that a financial emergency can come out of nowhere and have serious impacts on our everyday lives. Unfortunately, planning for an emergency is almost impossible. Thankfully, saving for one is not. Start setting money aside so that when an emergency inevitably happens one day, you will have the funds to handle it.
All of the aforementioned approaches address the money issues that might be causing your anxiety. They do not help you address the symptoms of anxiety that you are already experiencing, though. If you are dealing with anxiety or financial stress, talk to a therapist, consider medical management, or practice relaxation techniques as recommended by a professional.
Of course, letting go of financial anxiety is easier said than done. If you are still struggling due to debt or other major factors that feel beyond control, give the team at the Van Horn Law Group a call. We know what you are going through and we are here to help you make a plan for a better, brighter year ahead – and a more secure financial future!
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