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Everywhere we turn there is an article about inflation rising, the extortionate energy bills and the cost of living crisis. It is overwhelming. And certainly not good for our nervous system. So if you feel worried, or anxious about money right now, here are four tips to help.
1. Have a money date and take stock of your situation
It is hard to feel better about a situation when you don’t actually know what is going on.
Money anxiety does not always mean you don’t have any money, it can be more about thoughts we have, the fear of the unknown and what might happen in the future.
As easy as it is to stick your head in the sand and hope for the best, avoidance will only make you feel worse. Getting to grips with your current situation allows you to create a plan moving forwards to feel more secure.
Look over your finances and ask yourself:
- What is my current
- What are my current expanse (split out into needs and wants)
- Do I have any accessible savings in an emergency fund
- What debt do I have outstanding, how much and what are the minimum repayments
This information will empower you to create a plan, which brings us to tip no. 2…
2. Create a simple spending plan
It might sound obvious but creating a budget for the money you have coming in (income) and the money going out (expenses) puts you in the driver seat of your money. Instead of your money controlling you.
Create a realistic plan for the month ahead, pirioristing money for your necessities and important expenses such as rent, utilities, phone bill, food etc.
You can then chose how to split out your remaining income e.g. putting more into your emergency fund as a buffer, cancelling unused subscriptions, and having a small budget for self-care.
3. Practice mindful spending
Decisions around money are driven by our emotions, so if you feel stressed or worried, you’re more likely to spend money you don’t have or don’t want to spend.
Mindful spending is about engaging all of your senses before spending and asking yourself
- “How do I feel right now”
- “Am I spending money to cope emotionally right now?”
- “Are there ways to change how I feel that don’t involve spending money?”
Use the 72 hour rule – before you go to buy something (not in your budget), stop and wait for a few days. Most of the time you will forget about it and this helps stop impulse purchases that do not align with our goals and values!
4. Reach out for help if you need it
The link between money and mental health is strong, so if you are struggling mentally, it’ll make it harder to manage your money. And if you are having money problems, it can cause poor mental health.
Sharing your worries with friends, or family can help alleviate worries. The more we talk about money, the better! And there are some incredible Debt Charities such as StepChange, and the Citizens advice who can offer free advice.
Laura Ann Moore is a certified financial coach, financial wellbeing speaker,and host of the Mind Money Soul podcast, talking about finances in a fun, judgement-free way to help people feel good about money, get financially confident, and build wealth.