What are the Symptoms of Financial Anxiety?

Financial anxiety comes in many forms

What is financial anxiety? The medical community defines it as “a psychosocial syndrome whereby individuals have an uneasy and unhealthy attitude toward engaging with and administering their personal finances in an effective way.” What is the difference between normal money worries and financial anxiety? What are the common signs of anxiety? Let’s have a look.

Anxiety or Normal Stress?

Worrying about money is a common thing. With dizzying statistics concerning Americans and student loan debt and 69% of people having less than $1000 saved you can see why. So, how do you know the difference between normal worries and anxiety? It can be difficult, and the lines do get blurred, but the following is a good example.

If your spending was a little heavy last month, and your credit card balance is higher than normal, then you might be stressed over it. You come up with a plan to cut back spending or work some overtime to knock the balance down quickly. That would be normal money stress. But, if you become consumed by your credit card balance and think about it from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, then you might be suffering from financial anxiety.

The Signs of Financial Anxiety

Here are some of the major signs of financial anxiety:

  • You stress about spending money even when it may not be justified.
  • There is constant worry about slipping into debt whether you have debt or not.
  • You are unable to craft a clear plan for your finances. This uncertainty causes constant stress.
  • Speaking to anyone about your finances is difficult, and you keep all your money problems to yourself.
  • You lack balance in your work and your life. Hoarding money and penny pinching may result.

Coping with Anxiety

Financial anxiety is like any form of anxiety. Once you have identified it you can take steps to manage and maybe even eliminate it. Here are a few simple steps that you can take to start to deal with financial anxiety.

  • Create or Retool Your Budget

Often stress can occur when you fly blind with your finances. Creating a budget and tracking your money can greatly reduce this stress, since you know where your money is at and where it’s going.

  • Educate Yourself

Not understanding money can cause you to worry and stress over it. Spend some time learning about money and finances. Learn about investing in stocks or some other asset class. Ask trusted friends and relatives who are successful with money to guide you and mentor you. The more knowledge that you have about money the less you will be inclined to worry about it.

  • Prepare

Having some money socked away for a rainy day can be a powerful tool to help combat financial anxiety. An adequate emergency fund will keep you from going into debt or running short on cash should something unexpected happen.

  • Ask for Help

There is no shame in seeking help when you have a problem. Help can come in the form of friends and family, a financial advisor, or even a medical doctor.

Wrapping Things Up

Financial anxiety can cause extreme stress and worrying over money, but there are steps that you can take to alleviate or even eliminate it. Having a budget, building an emergency fund, creating a support network, and seeking help can all help you to overcome your money fears.

Read Also:

A Look At Emergency Funds

5 Simple Steps to Creating a Budget

Overcoming the Hold Money Has on Your Life

How to Avoid Money Anxiety