“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
Anxiety over money is so much more than being bummed about an empty wallet. When I wasn't making a lot of money right after school, paying bills would make me physically ill - and I know I am not alone.
After talking to some girlfriends about debt, we started discussing how money issues can put a toll on your mental health. Luckily, with the support of my family, I was able to pick myself up, but I remember how frustrating and stressful it can be when you are stuck in a downward spiral of debt.
When you have a lower paying job, opening up your bank account isn't always the most exciting activity, unless you're looking for a little jolt in your heart. This is true especially when you have a pile of bills that are overdue, collecting interest, and your paycheque can't even cover the cost of your rent.
Seeing my bank account balance used to kickstart a very toxic mindset for me (I'm in so much debt, Im never going to get out of debt, I might as well give up now, etc) but, of course, it's something that must be done.
Here are a few of my tips for powering through the anxiety that comes with paying bills and managing a smaller pay cheque. Pro tip: Always remember, this will not last forever. (Note: these tips are for helping with financial anxiety, not for eliminating debt).
Dont Ignore Your Balance
I repeat, do not ignore your balance. Out of sight, out of mind, does not apply to money issues. Keeping track of your banking is very stressful, but in the long run it will alleviate the panic of not knowing where you stand.
Take A Deep Breath (Or 3... or 10!)
If panicking were an Olympic Sport I would definitely win gold (if only life worked that way). I tend to overthink (and over panic) because I don't stop to take a moment and evaluate the situation. Most times, things are not as bad as they seem, and if we take a moment to calm down and take a breather, we will be eliminating a lot of unneccessary hair-pulling.
Ask For Help
My financial advisor texts me to see how I'm doing. This may be weird, but I love it. A year ago I was totally oblivious about how to financially support myself, but I talked to someone at the bank and she helped me out tremendously. For some reason, I was nervous the bank was going to be angry at me for not having enough money; this is not the case at all. If you have a financial advisor that you feel does not have your best interests in mind, keep looking until you find someone who suits your needs.
A special person once told me 'comparison is the theft of joy', and I couldn't agree more. How many times have you felt good about yourself, or something that you've done, and it's ruined by logging on to Facebook and seeing all of your friends "doing better" than you? The truth is, you can make anything seem glamorous with a little editing, and no one ever brags about their personal money struggles. Worry about what you're doing and quit comparing yourself to people you barely know.
These are only a few tips that help me when I am feeling anxious about money. What do you do to put your mind at ease?