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    15 Self-Care Tips For Anyone Who's Anxious About Money

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    Money is a big part of our lives, and sometimes, it can impact the way we feel. If your finances are affecting you emotionally, you are *definitely* not alone.

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    We all have a relationship with money, and if yours teeters on the negative side, there are ways to deal. For starters, it can help to keep in mind that cash is a tool, and when managed correctly, it can make life ~much~ easier.

    Here are 15 ways to find more balance in your checkbook AND in the way you feel about your finances:

    1. Check your balances regularly.

    Person using an ATM
    Eclipse_images / Getty Images

    You might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t that going to increase my anxiety?” But if you know what’s in your account, you can make more informed decisions throughout the week. It also beats rolling the dice and checking your finances next month. You don't want any surprises, and staying up to date with what’s in your account will help you stay ahead of the game.

    2. Don't worry about trying to tick off all your big financial goals in one go. Instead, break them down into a series of smaller goals that feel more achievable.

    3. Give yourself some financial cushion by making regular deposits in an emergency fund.

    Screenshot of online savings account from Ally
    Ally Bank / Via

    Soft, velvety pillows feel really, really good, right? Well, that’s what an emergency fund is like for money anxiety. It’s nice to know you have funds to lean on if you were to ever lose your job or get hit with a surprise expense.

    “Saving, however, can provide you with peace of mind that you can better handle unexpected expenses, adapt to changes in income, or take advantage of new opportunities,” says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation. “The best way to feel better right now might be to put unnecessary purchases on hold and save more.”

    4. Prioritize trying to pay your bills on time, every time.

    Screenshot of Mint budeting app showing bills for the month are paid
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    Yeah, it’s easier said than done, but putting bills on autopay or setting calendar reminders might help. And if you’re having trouble paying a bill in full, don't be afraid to talk to customer service and set up a payment arrangement. When you put payments toward your bills, you avoid debt, which is good for your mind and wallet (not to mention your credit score).

    5. Don't compare your situation to others.

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    People really do flex for the 'gram. Try your best not to feel bad about not having what others do. You never really know what someone else’s pockets look like. Comparison is truly the thief of joy (and your finances). So, focus on your wallet and don’t break the bank trying to catch up to your showboaty friends.

    6. Organize your finances by creating a budget.

    7. And try to avoid spending more than you make.

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    You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’s a golden rule. If you tend to put too much on credit, hide your credit cards or just use one. And be sure to make an effort to pay it off in full each month. Also, be honest with yourself about what you can afford (a budget really comes in handy for this). Don't try to flex or try to keep up with your buds who make twice your salary. You'll save yourself a lot of stress.

    8. Check on your non-money-related anxiety, too.

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    Money is entangled in almost everything we do, and the stress of our everyday life can also affect how we manage our money.

    “Studies have shown that anxiety has an adverse effect on almost all our financial decisions,” says Schwab-Pomerantz. “Stress can make us spend more, save less, and rack up credit card debt. Kind of like stress eating, we think spending will make us feel better.” So, tackling stress in other parts of your life just might help you feel better about your financial situation too.

    9. Let it out. Talking to a friend or even a therapist can help you deal with your worries.

    Screenshot of a search for sliding scale therapists on Psychology Today
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    Talk to someone. Anxiety sucks, but being open about your feelings can relieve stress. When dealing with money issues, you might feel embarrassed or ashamed, so it can be hard to voice your feelings. However, it is imperative to your financial and emotional stability to be able to talk about how you're doing.

    “If you are struggling, don’t suffer in silence," says Gerstler. "Talk to a friend, family member, professional — [someone] who can help you out.” Speaking of which, if you're looking for affordable mental health services, check out these lower-cost ways to take care of your mental health.

    10. And surround yourself with friends who help you stick to positive money habits.

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    You know, the friends who:

    • Keep you on a healthy financial track and don't push you to overspend.

    • Help you find solutions to your problems instead of criticizing.

    • Stay positive (even when things are really, really bad).

    Expressing your feelings is great, but it’s also important to be selective about who you share them with. Sharing your stress with friends who judge you or make you feel worse about your situation might increase your anxiety.

    11. See a financial advisor for help making a plan.

    Screenshot of SoFi financial planner
    SoFi / Via

    It sounds expensive, but it actually doesn't have to be — you can make a free appointment with an advisor if you make an account with SoFi, a financial company that offers tons of services, from student loan refinancing to investing. Or if you have a buddy who works in that field, ask if you can pick their brain.

    Seeking knowledge can actually help soothe your stress. Plus, educating yourself can make you feel more capable of tackling your problems.

    12. Don’t wait until there's a crisis to think about your finances.

    Person looking at financial documents at home
    Drakula & Co. / Getty Images

    Take preventative measures to avoid money stress altogether. Setting aside some savings in your emergency fund, making steps toward paying down debt, and keeping an eye on your budget can all make a difference — and so can these positive money habits. Just don't wait until you're in extreme debt to start thinking about managing your money.

    “Even if your bank account is well stocked, focus on creating more,” says Michele Leno, licensed psychologist and founder of DML Psychological Services.

    13. And, as tempting as it might be, don't try to ignore your money problems.

    Couple looking stressed about money
    Ozgurcankaya / Getty Images

    When it comes to money, ignorance is not bliss. And sometimes, the longer you wait to address a problem, the harder it can be to fix it.

    “My recommendation is to lean into that fear,” says Will Steinberger, a certified financial planner, founder and CEO of Think Different. “You have to make sure you understand how dire, or not, your financial situation is. Ignoring it, and not opening those statements, which can feel safer, is actually much more dangerous in the long run, as compared to getting a realistic understanding of the numbers.”

    14. Practice gratitude for what you *do* have.

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    It’s easy to focus on the things you lack and the money you don't have, but remember to be grateful. It's the perfect cure for anxiety. You might even like making a gratitude list or using an app to keep track of the good things in your life. And remember, your financial accomplishments matter, no matter how "small" they may seem. Whether you brought in a little extra cash with your side hustle or even just paid your phone bill — these are wins. Practicing gratitude will help you stay positive and give you the encouragement you need to better manage your money.

    15. And remember, your self worth is NOT defined by your net worth.

    Is there something else that helps you deal with money stress? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

    And for more money tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.

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