If the word “money” is enough to send you into a full-blown anxiety attack, you’re not the only one. We’ve all been there. It’s easy to lose sleep over debt, payments, and deadlines, and this mindset sometimes feels like an endless spiral.
According to the Australian Stress and Wellbeing Report, finances are the top reason for stress today. This has been the case for years, and it doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon as more people find themselves struggling to overcome their debt.
The good news is you don’t have to live this way. You can take control of your financial thoughts today to create a tomorrow you’re proud of. This first step will help you not only control your cash flow once and for all, but you can also feel positive about your financial future. Remember, your money doesn’t have to define you. It’s time to free yourself from spending any more late nights worrying about your next payment.
How do you stop your debt from becoming the fuel that leads to more anxiety? Stepping back from the negative mindset you’ve gotten yourself into is easier than you think. Just try these changes in perspective.
1. Stop the Shame
One of the main reasons we feel so anxious about money is that we often associate our debt with feelings of shame. If you haven’t made the best decisions about your finances in the past, this leads to you feeling down on yourself. As we all know, these feelings of shame only produce more anxiety, thus creating that endless cycle many of us know so well.
Banish this financial shame for good. Instead, congratulate yourself. You’re taking the time to educate yourself about your finances, and that in itself is an accomplishment. Your worry only shows that have paved a healthier financial path for yourself, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You want your money habits to be healthy, and that’s amazing!
2. End the Comparison Game
We’ve all played this game at least once or twice. Maybe you saw your coworker with the latest smartphone or your neighbor with the fancy new car. While it’s easy to compare your financial success to those around you, there’s nothing to be gained from keeping up with the Joneses.
Thanks to social media, we’re bombarded with images other people’s success 24/7. Remind yourself that you’re only seeing a curated glimpse into other’s lives. Social media isn’t real life, and it’s okay if you need to unplug for a while.
The next time you start playing the comparison game, tell yourself that you don’t know what’s actually in their bank account. They could be struggling with financial problems like credit cards, debt, and loans that you might not see. Everyone has a different journey in life, so focus on your own success and your strides.
3. Remember the Positives
Another great way to combat the comparison game is by focusing on the positives in your own life. Finances are only one side of the story, and your bank account doesn’t define you. While thinking positively won’t pay your bills, it will help you feel better about your other strengths.
Create a list of the things you’ve accomplished the things in life that make you happy. You can write it down on a piece of paper to keep near your bed or just type it on your phone. Maybe you have a great job you love, or you have a supportive family. These things have real value.
Also, write down your financial wins. Maybe you’ve started paying more towards a particularly large loan, or you’ve been saving money in an emergency fund. These are things you can reflect on when you’re feeling down about yourself. Every step forward is a success to be celebrated.
4. Stay Educated
The best way to be in control of your finances is to educate yourself. Sometimes the fear of the unknown causes a lot of stress. Knowing how to turn those misunderstandings into understandings will help you make smart choices for yourself in the future.
Think about what it is that’s causing you stress. Maybe it’s how to budget your expenses more effectively or how to start saving for retirement. Educate yourself on your options to calm your fears and create a plan. You can never know too much about your finances. Here are a few tasks to get you started:
- Take a course in personal accounting
- Research loan consolidation options to lower your interest rate
- Speak to a financial counselor
- Research savings options that suit your needs
- Re-evaluate your monthly budgeting
These tasks will help you take matters into your own hands. As you educate yourself, you’ll feel your confidence around money grow. When you can control your own future, it’s less intimidating.
5. Talk to an Advisor
A financial advisor does wonders for your fears and anxieties. If you’re worried that you aren’t on the right path to financial wellness, an advisor can evaluate your goals and your progress. They show you the best steps to take to get on the right road, and they help you feel comfortable with your own money.
If you’re not sure whether a debt adviser is right for you, set up a low-pressure first appointment to just talk about the basics of your finances. Think about it this way: if you had the flu, you’d see a doctor. Why should it be any different for your bank account?
If you’re ready to take the first step towards freedom from financial anxiety, schedule an appointment with Debt Busters today. We understand just how stressful it can be to overcome debt, and we’ve been helping Australians conquer their financial fears for over 15 years. Contact us today to get the help you need.