Financial problems can affect your mental health and tackling our money anxiety can be difficult, especially if don’t want to log into your internet banking account to check your balance!
However, there are some steps that you can take to regain control of your money worries and reduce your anxiety.
What is Money Anxiety?
Psychologists and money experts describe money anxiety as “an uneasy and unhealthy attitude toward engaging with and administering personal finances in an effective way” and applies when your money worries interfere with your daily life and persists over a period of time.
Worrying about money can certainly take its toll your mental health and poor mental health can make managing money even harder. Money anxiety is something that most people will deal with throughout their lifetime. Sometimes, you may not even realise that you’re money anxious unless you recognise the signs and make a note of it.
Five Signs that you Suffer from Money Anxiety
Some signs that you may suffer from money anxiety include:
- You stress and worry about spending money – even if you’re not prone to overspending. The idea of paying money out is always a source of stress for you and you constantly check your balance or regularly log into your internet banking.
- You excessively worry about slipping into debt. Although debt, for many of us, is a huge source of anxiety, worrying about debt even when it’s manageable could be a sign of money anxiety.
- You find it difficult to plan and budget your finances and try to avoid checking your balance even if you can easily do this using internet banking. Without a plan in place, it’s natural to for your thoughts to become messy, which can increase your anxiety about money.
- You’re reluctant to discuss your finances with someone as you worry that it will make you look financially unstable.
- You work hard but don’t spend. Although financial security and saving money is important, the fear of earning and saving enough to reach your goals is a constant source of stress.
Simple Steps to ease your Financial Stress
Understand and Acknowledge the Signs
Working on habits and anxieties surrounding money is always the best place to start. It could help you assess things that you may want to work on in order to overcome your money worries.
- Think about when you’re likely to spend money and why?
- Reflect on what aspects of dealing with money affect your mental health? Is it visiting ATM’s, having unlimited access to internet banking platforms, being misunderstood, or making a spending mistake? Could it be something else?
- You could keep a diary of your spending and compare it to your mood. Make a note of what you spent and why and compare this to how you’re feeling before and afterwards. This could help you define any triggers or patterns.
Plan and Budget and Finances
After understanding where your money anxiety is coming from, you can adapt or put a financial plan in place which should help to give you a stress-free state of mind. For a lot of people, money worries grow from the thought of not being able to meet or achieve financial goals or commitments, but this can be avoided by having a plan in place.
There are many ways to start planning, however, one of the easiest is by creating a budget which includes adding up all your sources of income and then subtracting your outgoings such as rent, bills or groceries.
This will show you what money you have remaining until you next receive income. Some people create a daily budget, others weekly. Whatever way works best for you and helps you to stick to your plan.
Manage any Debts you have
Debt and money anxiety go hand in hand. Sometimes, the fear of debt can cause anxiety, if this is the case then a strong and clear financial plan can help you avoid this.
Any debts you have won’t disappear overnight but it’s always best to deal with it as soon as possible and make small manageable steps to regain control. The first step is always the hardest, but it will be worth it in the long run.
The first step is to list your debts and prioritise them. You can use your internet banking or mobile banking app to view your outgoings and regular spending and use it as a guide to see how much money you can devote to paying off any debts. If your outstanding debts are currently with debt collection services, you can give them a call to see what repayment plan they can offer you.
If you’re worried that you might fall into debt, planning is again key to stop this from happening. Plan for any unexpected payments by setting up an emergency fund.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
In our modern digital age where we can easily spend money online, transfer money using internet banking or use contactless payments in shops, it may seem that your money is disappearing a lot faster or that you don’t have complete control of your spending.
However, a survey by YouGov revealed that out of 2000 people interviewed, 18% said they felt anxious about their financial situation, so you’re not alone when experiencing money worries.
It’s normal to feel stressed, even if you’re doing everything right. As humans, it’s in our nature to let our mind give in to worry when things are fine. It’s always a good idea to speak to someone, whether a trusted friend or professional advisors so you can unburden yourself from any financial worries.
Should I tell my Banking Provider?
It’s completely your decision if you want to tell us, or whoever you bank with, about any mental health problems you may be experiencing. We’re not here to offer medical advice and we won’t try to do so.
However, if you do choose to let us know, we are here to support you. If it helps, we could change the way we contact you and how often, show you where to get help and advice or just make changes to make you feel more relaxed when speaking to us – if you don’t want to talk to us over the phone, you can always speak to us over email or Facebook chat.
We will always keep anything you tell us about your health confidential we will only ever use the information you tell us to help you.
Continue to Take Control of your Money Anxiety
Overcoming money anxiety will take time and patience but realising that money is simply a means of exchange and not a symbol of something is key to reducing your worries.
However, we’ve listed some helpful resources in the UK if you’re struggling with managing money and worrying about your finances:
Citizens Advice can provide you with information about how to deal with debt, redundancies, evictions, and budgeting tools
UK Gov Website
GOV.UK has information about managing debt, redundancy, dismissals, benefits and finding a new job
Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service can help you with managing money and debt, rent and mortgages and they also have loads of budgeting tools and calculators to help get your funds in order.
The National Debtline offer free and confidential debt advice and can help you to get your debt wrote off if making repayments is unaffordable.