How to Stop Worrying About Money and Start Living

Does checking your bank account make you nervous? Are you constantly concerned about how much things cost?

Worrying about money can definitely take a toll, mentally and physically. It can cause you not to enjoy life or to feel very nervous about finances.

But this isn’t the best way, and there are other options. If you find that you want to stop worrying about money and start living, you’re in the right place.

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I’m so tired of worrying about money 

Are you completely exhausted from always thinking about dollars? Maybe you spend way too much time checking credit scores and bank accounts or comparing prices on grocery items.

None of these things are bad, but when you become obsessed with how much things cost or your net worth, you may get tired quickly.

Perhaps you’re consumed with concern about having enough money for retirement. Or to pay your bills. Whatever the case, worrying about money is not the answer.

When you’re drained, it’s hard to be present for the things that matter the most, like your friends and family and responsibilities at work or school. Here are some common questions about money worries.

Why am I concerned about money when I have enough?

If you find that you make enough money to cover your expenses and save some, but you still often get concerned about finance, you might know logically that you shouldn’t worry.

But that doesn’t always stop the concern. Why?

You may have a scarcity mindset that makes you think there isn’t enough money. Or perhaps it’s fears about losing an income. There are many reasons why you may continue to worry about money even when you have enough of it.

But instead of thinking negatively, you can choose an abundance mindset that believes there’s more than enough for everyone. You can also diversify your income to reduce fears about making enough.

Worrying about money is a choice, and you don’t have to do it. Instead, you can be proactive, make a plan, and do your very best with what you have. If you do that, you should feel less stress in your daily life.

Related: 15 Tips for Switching to a Positive Money Mindset

When did you stop worrying about money and start living?

This is a common question. When did you stop worrying about money?

The fact is, many people don’t stop being concerned about finance. Around 64% of Americans are worried about their money this year.

So, if you struggle with money worries, you aren’t alone. Many others feel the same for various reasons.

Financial Anxiety

Many people feel concerned about their finances at times. After all, the economy constantly changes.

We’ve all experienced job loss or seen it happen to others, and there are many other factors besides these. But how do you know if your worries are something more? When does concern turn into financial anxiety?

Constant anxiety over money

Feeling very worried all the time or frequently about your money could be signs of financial anxiety. If you find that finances constantly cloud your mind, it might be time to talk with someone who can help, like a psychologist or a certified financial expert.

Related: 10 Tips to Help Lessen Your Financial Anxiety

How much money do you need to not worry about money?

This is an interesting question. You may think there’s a magic number for your net worth, and when you reach it, you will no longer have any money concerns.

But the fact is, money worries don’t always have much to do with how much money you have. Sometimes, negative thinking patterns are holding you back and will continue to do so if left unchecked. 

You might be interested to know that wealthy people seem to also have money worries. They’re just different ones. So how much money you have doesn’t really stop the fear. 

So if getting to a particular financial number doesn’t cause you to quit worrying, what does? Giving up the worry.

It’s a choice to think differently and instead enjoy what you have. While it can be challenging, here are ten ways to stop worrying about money so you can enjoy your life again.

10 Ways to Stop Worrying About Money 

Sometimes, anxiety can overtake you without you even realizing it. When you have to make money decisions, you may feel scared or worried, which isn’t healthy.

Money is something that you will always need to deal with, so it’s best to be comfortable with managing it.

Regardless of why you worry about money, there are many ways to stop it in its tracks so you can enjoy your life again. Remember, it pays off to be intentional, so decide to learn a new way to handle money.

Check out these ten money worry solutions below. 

1. Get perspective

Everyone thinks that their money problems are worse than others, right? But the chances are that other people out there have much more difficult circumstances.

Think about people who have less than you, and realize that your money worries might not be quite as bad as you think they are. You can also look at your money troubles today through tomorrow’s lens.

For example, maybe you are having difficulty paying off debt. But flash forward ten years to the future and imagine where you’ll be.

If you keep at it, your debt will probably be gone, and you may have built up an emergency fund and a good amount of retirement savings. Thinking of your struggles today in light of the future can help.

2. Forgive yourself for past mistakes

Maybe you’ve failed to save money or got into debt in the past. But the good news is that your past money mistakes don’t have to be carried over into your present or future.

You can forgive yourself, learn from the past, and move forward. When you do this, the guilt and worry may cease.

Instead of dwelling on past money mistakes, think about how you want to handle your finances here and now. Choose better habits and plan for the future.

For example, if you’ve never saved before, that’s okay. Begin by saving a small amount, like $25 a week, and work up to larger amounts from there.

Related: Tips for Successfully Starting Over after a Bad Money Decision

3. Spend according to your values, not your neighbor’s

Others may want things for their own lives, but that doesn’t mean that you need to want the same things that they have. Everyone has different values.

For instance, some people want to build wealth for their families, while others want to focus on debt payoff. Here’s another example: If having a big house isn’t necessary for you, but seeing the world is, spend your money on travel. 

When you spend according to your own values, you’re being true to yourself, and you will likely feel more fulfilled about your money and life.

You won’t have regrets about how you spend and save. This could lead to less anxiety because you won’t feel like you’re using your money in unimportant ways.

4. Control your spending to stop worrying about money and start living

Don’t just spend money to spend it. This will likely put you in a bad financial position and make it difficult to save and invest.

Controlling your spending and telling yourself no can be incredibly helpful for people feeling financial anxiety because it puts more money back into your budget.

Since many people’s worries involve not having enough money, this can make a big difference. And even if your money struggle is something else entirely, saving more is always good.

5. Make a budget you can follow

It’s stressful to try to follow a budget made for someone else. While budget templates and examples can be helpful, it’s vital to create your own unique budget that reflects your values and finances.

Related: Starting a Budget that Actually Works for You

If you don’t make your budget work for you, then you risk feeling anxious because you can’t follow the budget. In reality, you shouldn’t even be using someone else’s version.

Look over your receipts and bank accounts, find out what matters to you most and what you don’t want to spend on, and then create a system.

6. Check your credit card usage

A significant contributor to worrying about money is how much you use your credit cards and whether you carry a balance. Credit card debt can make people very stressed out.

If you’ve made some mistakes with credit cards, pay them off as soon as possible, and teach yourself better habits for the future.

If you do use credit cards, be sure to pay them off in full every month, and that way, you won’t have to think about debt. If you’ve struggled with credit card use before, not using them is probably best.

Related: Which Debt to Pay Off First to Improve Your Credit Score

7. Seek counseling if necessary to stop worrying about money and start living

Sometimes financial stress is too much to handle alone, and that’s okay. If you feel this way, consider seeing a counselor or talking to someone in the financial field.

Ask questions, tell them your concerns, and find effective ways to change your future.

When you talk with someone else and gain advice, it can help you reach a much better place with your money. Just make sure that the person you seek counsel from is qualified and trustworthy.

8. Set financial goals for yourself

Has your whole approach to money felt a bit vague? This might be what is worrying you.

You don’t feel like you’re making progress because you’re unclear about what the goals are. Or maybe you haven’t set clear instructions for yourself, so it’s hard to tell if you’re going in the right direction.

No one but you can decide your financial goals, so spend some time thinking about them. Then, when you’re ready, create a path that travels from where you are now to the goal you want to achieve.

Make steps and milestones to aid you as you try to do your best with money. This is the process I use to set and achieve all my financial goals.

Some reasonable financial goals are getting out of debt, saving up a certain amount of money, opening a rainy day fund, saving regularly, and paying off your mortgage.

There are many other worthy goals, but these could be interesting ones to start with. Here is a list of additional financial goals to give you some more ideas.

9. Know what you can control, accept what you can’t

You make your own financial decisions and are in charge of your own money. This is where you should focus your efforts because it’s the only thing you can change. 

The stock market, the job market, and many other things are outside your control. No matter how much you worry about them, it won’t change things.

Accept that this is true and instead use your energy to make the best choices possible with your own finances instead.

10. Plan for retirement

One thing is for sure – planning for retirement is your responsibility, and you should be ready for it. Start planning and investing now so that you don’t have to worry when you reach that point.

If feeling unprepared is why you’re stressed, then know that you are totally capable of preparing for retirement. Investing using an IRA or 401(k) is a great place to start.

After this, look into other options for saving and investing money. Retirement is a big thing, but know that you can afford it if you take the time to get organized. 

Related: Can you lose money in a Roth IRA?

Worrying about money can stop you from living your life, but developing a plan can help you start living. 

Worry can be paralyzing, and financial stress is particularly bad because there are so many causes, and money can feel complicated. This concern can make you afraid when you should really stop worrying about money and start living.

Many people struggle with financial concerns, even rich people, so you aren’t the only one. But when you make a plan and are prepared for the future, you don’t have to be worried about money.

You can be happy with your finances now and in retirement by simply being organized, understanding what you can and can’t control, and working on improving your money skills as much as possible. Use these tips to stop worrying about money and take back control of your life.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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