Money stress? Worry less!

Monika Elguezabal |

Have you ever experienced that gut-twisting feeling when you're standing at the register, paying for your groceries? You wonder if the payment will go through or if you don’t have enough money and it will be rejected. It's also tough when you're out with friends and everyone wants to eat at a new (and expensive) restaurant instead of staying in and watching a movie. Money anxiety is common and can impact daily decisions like what groceries to buy or whether you can afford to go out to eat.

According to @Calm, money anxiety is a persistent fear that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and powerless over your money[1]. Science has confirmed that there is a strong connection between financial anxiety and struggles with physical and mental health. Studies have found that money worries are linked to anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, heart disease, high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, ulcers, back pain, arthritis, and asthma, among other health issues. (Additionally, it has been associated with a higher risk of disability and early death over the long term)[2]. Money anxiety can also lead to a lack of work-life balance, conflict with family and friends, overspending, depression, anxiety disorders, and stress. So how do you stop worrying about money? Is there any end to it? Yes, there is!

Not everyone facing financial challenges develops depression or serious illness. Experts advise addressing money issues causing the most harm before they become a severe health risk. Let’s look into a few ideas to help with money stress. 

Let’s start by calming your mind. Practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels, making financial decisions more manageable. According to the 2024 Financial Health Network study, participants found that exercising and mindfulness practices helped them feel calmer, think more clearly, and address the triggers of their financial stress.

When you're calm and relaxed, take a fresh look at your finances and create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). Divide your goals into long and short-term ones. Even small steps, like calling a credit card company to lower interest, are productive. Keep going step by step!

When you are an expert in calming your mind and body and know the source of your stress, it’s time to move to another level. Looking at the whole financial situation, create a budget that works for you, your family, and your goals. Plus, having a budget is a great way to monitor your spending habits and prevent issues in the future. Saving small amounts towards your emergency fund is a great way to prevent money-related stress in the future. You can try setting up automated savings to a high-yield account every time you get paid. Some banks and investment platforms offer to round up your spending and save the spare change. This can help you save even small amounts, and the money will be there when you need it. If you're not sure where to start, consider finding a financial professional to help you organize your finances and work on a budget.

Money stress is a common struggle impacting many aspects of our lives. However, there's a way out. Calming down reduces stress and helps create realistic goals for improving our financial situation. Developing a budget that fits your lifestyle and needs leads to long-lasting happiness and a stress-free life.