Banishing Financial Anxiety

A survey carried out in the UK reported over 54% of us suffered financial anxiety and stress. I make up part of this statistic and I’ll be the first to hold my hand up at being a skeptic when I hear phrases like “Money mindset”.

To my understanding, you are either making money or not. And so naturally when I found I had not paid enough attention to my money, I panicked.  With my panic, hopelessness followed and with hopelessness overwhelm.  For years I got my head down and told myself I had to make money, lots of it, can it all, and sit on the can! Well, something of that sort. That caused even more overwhelm with money and mental health.  


More recently (Midlife mojo at work again) I’ve had to pause and reframe my thoughts around why I am constantly stressed about money. It’s been further exacerbated by the cost of things and prices of everything going up and up.

I’ve also had to unpack my thoughts around what should be – the nice house, nice car, and all the nicer things of life. In digging into the deep-rooted cause of my money anxiety, I found a lot of it was driven by societal expectations. What I think is expected of me, the feeling of not getting ahead and the need to prove I am not behind by acquiring more stuff. I’ve also had quite a few negative money experiences which I have held on to longer than I should have.

My three major fears around money are:

  • Not having enough of it to live on when I am older
  • Having to rely on other people financially
  • Losing it all because life brings the unexpected

Now I am sure I am not alone in these thoughts. The journey of identifying the root of these fears has also made me come to appreciate how much financial peace is underrated.

Here are 9 ways I am dealing with Money anxiety and overwhelm:

  1. Get budgeting – I’ve found that “downloading” all of my money activities by making a physical list of income, expenses expected and unexpected help with my money management. I also write down my money worries free up my head to think up solutions to them.
  2. Keeping debt low – I only keep debt to essential things like shelter I cannot afford in cash. Anything else not essential and can be paid out of pocket does not make my list. Does it mean I am going without a lot of things I think I should have? The answer is yes. I am thriving without the burden of debt or the thought that my outgoings are way higher than my earnings gives much comfort.
  3. Set clear financial goals – I’ve found that giving time and planning toward major financial commitments takes away a lot of pressure. In recent times, I’ve adapted this approach for my wants. I set a portion of my budget to things that are not essential. I then refuse to spend beyond what I set. Instead a “roll forward” the need to the following month and so it goes for the whole year. I’ve found that not much has changed with me deferring wants and giving myself time. There is nothing I “want” so badly that can’t wait! The other thing I do is to be realistic with these goals, let go of things that don’t hold, and review these goals from time to time to ensure they still align.
  4. Investing in me – Bettering my skills gives me much hope for my future. I look to the future knowing I can increase and diversify my income, and have multiple sources to look after my needs.
  5. Automating my finances – Setting up direct debits for my bills, savings, and investments stops me from fussing about money daily. I only visit my finances weekly or fortnightly depending on the kind of month I am having. Another positive step I am taking to become more involved with my finances is to make this a monthly ritual to lose any scraps of money obsession remaining.
  6. Maintaining a childlike curiosity with money – Right now I trying to let go of wrong money myths that no longer serve me. I am also working on my money psychology. I am staying open-minded and learning more about how money works and the economy. I tune into what’s going on globally.
  7. Seeking out opportunities – Optimizing my earnings, and personal finances by investing and saving the right way helps alleviate my money worries. I am focusing on making money long-term, with no shortcuts, no quick money, just consistent actions that drive me closer to my financial goals.
  8. Getting advice when I don’t know – Over time I have come to know the value in good professionals particularly in areas where I am not fully knowledgeable. Even though I am an accountant, I’ve had to hire someone to look after my taxes because it is simply not my area!
  9. Keep up with my investment plan – The feeling of knowing I am actively working towards my financial goals puts me at ease. Knowing time and the power of compounding would help me reach my financial goals.

The positive takeaway is that money problems are tangible ones — meaning we can all put a finger on what’s wrong, it is often the first step to addressing it (and most of the time we can all do something about it).

Please help share and comment on what your money fears are or how you are managing your money anxiety.

2 thoughts on “Banishing Financial Anxiety”

  1. This article was very helpful for me because I sometimes have anxiety about money too. I appreciate the book recommendation (always looking for great books about my specific interests/challenges). Do you think being an accountant gives you more overwhelm because you have a better/closer understanding of how money moves or impacts businesses/relationships?

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