Anxiety is intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. It can be normal in some situations like in public speaking. Now that we’re facing hard times, persistent lockdowns, job losses, illnesses and all, we’re more than never forced to survive despite having nothing to eat. In my neighborhood alone, many children are becoming street beggars. The center of all this worry, in my view, is lack of money.

Feeling beaten down by money worries leave you feeling angry, ashamed, or fearful, fuel tension and arguments with those closest to you and even increase your risk of depression and anxiety. You may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking or abusing drugs to try to escape your worries. In the worst circumstances, financial stress can even lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. But no matter how hopeless your situation seems, I want you to know that you are not alone and you can solve your money problems and find some sleep. Here I’ll share some of the tips I use to overcome financial anxiety even when my wallet is empty. I hope it works with you as it does with me.

An empty wallet makes me cry 🙁
  • Make a budget

Since life is uncertain, it’s better to plan wisely how you will use your money. Determine first your fixed expenses (important ones) and variable expenses (not so necessary). Make sure you cut off unnecessary expenses to help yourself be able to save some portion. Even if it’s just 5,000Frw, it’s okay. This will save you in future. Read more about budgeting here.

  • Pay your debts

List your debts including due bills, late fees, and list minimum payments due as well as any money you owe to family or friends. Then make a plan on how to pay them. You can start by paying small amounts to the stressful lenders or you can plan to save up and start by paying the large sums. Debts cause financial anxiety and can leave anyone feeling down, hopeless, and struggling to concentrate or make decisions. Paying it off may be your key out.

  • Identify your spending patterns and triggers

When I’m frustrated or sad I tend to buy things to eat/drink like a pizza, ice cream or iced coke. This not only takes away my money but it also leaves me regretful afterwards.  Does boredom or a stressful day at work cause you to head to the shop or bar and start shopping? Once you’re aware of your triggers you can find healthier ways of coping with them.

  • Create more sources of income

When you are struggling to make ends meet you may be looking for ways to increase your income. There are many ways you can use such as using your skills to provide some services; turning your hobbies into businesses or getting additional degree or additional certification in your field of work. Are you a good cook? Start door to door food deliveries. Do you have items you no longer use that are still in good state? Sell them. Can you make some crafts? Make them and sell them.

  • Build your self esteem

Experiencing financial problems can cause you to feel like a failure and impact your self-esteem. But there are plenty of other, more rewarding ways to improve your sense of self-worth. Even when you’re struggling yourself, helping others by volunteering can increase your confidence and ease stress, anger, and anxiety—not to mention aid a worthy cause. Or you could learn a new skill, or enjoy the company of people who appreciate you for who you are, rather than for your bank balance.

  • Keep a positive attitude and be grateful

When you’re concerned by money worries and financial uncertainty, it’s easy to focus all your attention on the negatives. While you don’t have to ignore reality and pretend everything’s fine, you can take a moment to appreciate a close relationship, the beauty of a sunset, or a good meal, for example. It can give your mind a break from the constant worrying, help boost your mood, and ease your stress.

Have you ever faced financial anxiety? How did you cope up? Let me know in the comments.

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