If you’re experiencing financial anxiety due to the last Federal Reserve interest rate hike, looming fears of a recession, and the war in Ukraine, you’re not alone. A recent survey of 1,000 college-educated adults revealed that 63% of women under 40 are much more likely to feel like they are behind in their financial goals. Even Zendaya stated that she suffers from financial anxiety.
According to Gallup, Americans’ financial worries have increased the most with regards to paying monthly bills (up eight percentage points to 40%) and maintaining the standard of living they enjoy (up seven points to 52%). But concern has also increased, by five points, on paying one's rent or mortgage (35%), making minimum payments on credit cards (22%), and having enough money for retirement (63%).
Financial anxiety is anxiety caused by money and/or personal finances, that causes feelings of fear, anxiety, worry, stress, shame, and a range of negative emotions. Financial anxiety doesn't have to be caused by a lack of money.
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I have heard from many women that I coach that even when they are in a "state of abundance" they're still worried about money. Those who suffer from financial anxiety are in a perpetual state of worry and fear about day-to-day bills, day-to-day spending, and investing, and it can be very debilitating for some people.
Unresolved financial trauma from the past can also lead to financial anxiety, which can also further lead to making sub-optimal financial decisions over a lifetime, potentially costing an individual hundreds of thousands of dollars, from an investment perspective. Our past experiences around money can be directly responsible for our emotions around money today. Financial anxiety can cause fear, doubt, and lack of confidence and block you from achieving your financial goals and your purpose in life.
Here are some strategies to cope with financial anxiety:
1.Take a holistic look at your financial position and assess your physical and emotional symptoms (stress, anxiety, guilt, etc.)
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According to Paige Brettle, Associate Financial Consultant, Certified Health Insurance Specialist, and Certified Holistic Wealth TM Consultant with the Institute on Holistic Wealth, “Explore your money history and money stories (the current framework in which your money house is built). That will provide you with the basis from which to make conscious, well-reasoned decisions moving forward, and help reduce your overall financial anxiety.
Write down/record what you want your money to do for you. Ask yourself:
- What bothers me about money?
- What excites me about money?
- What would my current day (and future days) look like and feel like if I had no worries about money?”
2.Get to know your personal financial identity so you can work with your natural tendencies around money.
3.Pick one thing you can do right now to feel better about your relationship with money.
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Hint: It could be forgiving yourself for having already done the things you like to do — morning coffee, dinner out — and making a conscious decision to make a manageable change to save some money on one of these decisions from this point in time forward.
According to Paige, “Start small with your money changes. Smaller changes are more sustainable — and once you have made a series of different decisions and you feel encouraged by your ability to effect change in your life, you can continue to 'upgrade' the size and scope of your changes. Give yourself a reason to be proud of yourself. The good vibes will only continue to increase.”
- Your earliest memory of money
- The first words that come to mind when you read the word “money”
- When was the first time you felt a sense of shame or embarrassment around money? How did you respond in that moment? Would you respond differently today, do you think? Why or why not?
Psst, looking for some inspo? Check out these 17 life-changing money habits that our readers swear by.