Unlike our concerns about bogey men in the closets and monsters underneath our beds, financial fears are all the more terrifying because they are not entirely irrational. Money is important, and a lack of it is entirely terrifying. The blogosphere is full of people talking about their fear of not being able to provide for their family, of losing their job, or of defaulting on their mortgage.
Others talk of their fear of getting too enraptured with saving money, and being unable to enjoy it.
Financial fear is enough to give you the night sweats. It stays with you all day, gnawing at you as you try and get through whatever errands the day holds. It certainly eats away at your quality of life, so the question is- how can financial fear be dealt with?
No one is saying that there is any way to cure financial fears. Just like you always worry about the health of your family, you’ll always remember the need for financial security at the back of your mind.
Here are some ways to cope with your financial fears and turn them from negatives into positives.
Often the feeling that makes you most depressed or stressed is one of helplessness. If you feel trapped in a financial situation, or unable to change your finances, it’s likely you’ll feel anxious. The easiest way to feel better is take control, take action. Even if it can only be in a small way, the sooner you have a bit of ownership of your finances, the better you will feel.
Break bad habits
If you’re in a pattern of behaviours that have negative effects on your finances, don’t just accept them. Know that you can learn new behaviours, and reset your default to something that is healthier and better for your finances.
It’s certainly easier said than done, but start with the simple. Get into the habit of making your own lunch. Get into the habit of checking your bills as soon as they come in, not three days after they were due. Understand what causes anxiety in your life, and try and change those factors.
See the future
It’s easy to believe nothing will change, and that you’ll continue the financial meltdown that is your life. If that’s what you believe, your finances are unlikely to improve. Knowing that your finances can and will be better, and that financial security is not a pipedream but a realistic goal will help you in achieving some peace of mind.
Clean out and start anew
Mentally, physically and spiritually- if you’re detoxing your finances, you’ll need to dust off the cobwebs in some other sectors of your life as well. Clean out the things you never use, and hold a garage sale. Start writing down realistic goals, and rewarding yourself when you achieve them. Try and understand when your thoughts get negative, and address them before they affect your mood.
Ask for help
Whether you need a friend to talk to, a financial advisor to ask questions or a counsellor to help you feel better, asking for help is one of the best ways to feel better. Don’t let yourself exist in a vacuum of anxiety, talk to other people. You might pick up some good hints along the way.