Financial anxiety isn’t a term that means worrying about money from time to time. It means that you are regularly overwhelmed by financial topics to the point where it’s impacting your day-to-day life, and by extension, your personal finances.
How Does Financial Anxiety Impact Your Finances?
When something causes you anxiety, you instinctively want to avoid it. This can be a major issue when the thing causing you anxiety is your finances. You might find that you avoid checking your bank accounts because you’re scared to look at the balances. You might find that you don’t open your bills because you’re afraid of what you’ll owe. You’d rather not look.
Obviously, not checking on the status of your accounts is not the best decision. If you don’t know the balance in your checking account, you could accidentally spend more than you have and put the account into overdraft. Putting your account into overdraft could lead to canceled transactions, missed bill payments and bounced checks. Or it could lead to a slew of overdraft fees and extra payments toward your bank. Either situation will cause you a lot more financial stress.
Not opening your bills is also not a great decision. If you can’t confirm how much you owe a company, you won’t be able to pay your bills properly. You also can’t detect if there’s a problem with how you’re being charged. For instance, you might be able to detect the early signs of financial fraud by looking at your credit card bill. If you spot purchases that you don’t remember making, that’s a clue that someone has accessed your card or card information and has used it to make unauthorized transactions. You don’t want to miss that problem!
Not looking at your financial matters means that you can’t be 100% sure about what’s going on with them.
Financial anxiety can encourage you to be overly cautious about your spending. To avoid making a “mistake” with your money, you decide to not make extra purchases whatsoever. This may seem like a wise choice since you’re not buying “frivolous” items, but you’re actually depriving yourself of anything that’s outside of your comfort zone.
Here’s a simple example. Going on a vacation can be considered a frivolous expense through an anxious mindset. But if you shift your financial perspective, you’ll see that it’s a great investment! Taking time off from work is good for your mental health — you might even find that it lowers your anxiety! Another example would be seeing a therapist. Therapy can be expensive, but it could change your life for the better.
Anxiety can make you doubt your capability of helping yourself. You assume that you can’t cope with problems, so you don’t work to solve them.
If you’re anxious about your finances, you might assume that you can’t handle surprise expenses that come your way. Since you assume you can’t handle the surprise expenses, you don’t take action to prepare for them, like building an emergency fund as a safety net. Which means that if you do encounter a surprise expense, you’ll confirm that negative belief that you have no control over the situation — and no way out of it.
Even if you don’t have an emergency fund to pay off a surprise expense, you still have solutions that you can turn to. You can charge the expense to a credit card and then pay down that balance later. Or you can try to apply for a personal loan. Search for personal loans that are accessible in your state of residence. So, if you live in Houston, you’ll want to search for Texas loans online — you don’t want to fill out an application for a loan that isn’t even available in Houston.
With an approved loan, you can use borrowed funds to tackle a surprise expense quickly. Then, all you have to do is follow a simple repayment plan.
Your financial trouble won’t go away until you address your anxiety. That’s the root cause of the trouble.