How to Combat Financial Anxiety

Woman at table with calculator and spreadsheet

Money is a major stressor in most people’s lives. It’s no wonder: the amount of cash in the bank can make or break your life, from healthcare, to rent and more. Some even say the world revolves around money. In some cases, this may be true. Even so, you need to learn not to let financial anxiety control you. What are some ways to combat this fear, and not let it dictate your life? How do you manage your money responsibly? Do you know how to say “no” to luxuries that you do not need? Throughout this article, I will share my experiences and explain how to fight against your financial anxiety. 

Money management is not my mom's strong suit. She prefers to buy things right away rather than save up for them - even if it means putting herself into debt. Saving money for a rainy day does not appeal to her more than a cute new top. Neither my stepfather nor my father taught me financial responsibility. Just like my mother, they both struggled with money management. As far as my father was concerned, he only instructed me to make the minimum payments on credit cards. At the end of the day, I was left to fend for myself. As a teen without clear guidance, I freely spent my money on notebooks, pens, candy, and snacks. It was not until I dreamed of freedom (aka driving) that I got my act together. While my stepfather and mom bought my first car, I saved for the title and registration. In addition, my money went towards a new windshield for my car. It was satisfying to watch my savings grow and to know I received a reward for my labor. 

As soon as I got my first car, I applied for credit cards. While I got declined at first, I eventually received one. That is when things started to get tough. According to my boyfriend, I should only use a credit card to buy gas. I did that for a little while until I started wanting things and did not have the money to buy them. There was always something to desire: clothing, electronics, shoes, purses, notebooks, pens, candy, room decor, and a whole lot more. Money can easily be wasted, and I struggled to resist temptation. I quickly realized that you need to pay your bills first, put some into savings, and then see what is left for leisure. Do not shop right after receiving your paycheck. While it is nice to treat yourself on occasion, it is always wise to pay for the essentials up front. 

During the past couple of months, I realized that I needed to start budgeting for the things I wanted. Although it is nice to buy a lot of stuff at once, try to put money aside for a specific purchase. Do you need new clothes for school? When you get paid, put aside at least five to ten dollars a week. Need to upgrade your technology? Make a list of all your bills and calculate how much money you will have left to save for a new iPad or even a computer. Money can be managed in many ways, but your motivation is the driving factor toward success. Think about the big picture. Are you tired of living with your parents? Set up a savings account and start putting in a few dollars each week. Little by little, you can build your funds and find your freedom. 

Money can be difficult to manage, and that is okay! It’s not easy to say “no” to alluring purchases. And you don’t always have to; there is a time and a place for everything. Do not rush. Go through these steps and decide which method is best for you. If you do not instantly get something you desire, you can save up for it! It feels more rewarding to work for your purchases rather than receiving instant gratification. By keeping your money under control, rather than letting it control you, you can avoid the terrible feeling of financial anxiety. 

Written by: Audre Arnett

Instagram: @infinityaudreee


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  • Eliana

    Thank you for this! I struggle with financial anxiety due to family financial trauma and these tips were helpful. It’s also very relatable scenarios, so I appreciate your insight on this topic!

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