How many times have you found yourself feeling stressed about your finances? What emotions do you feel when you think about your money? Do you dread logging in to your bank account or opening up your budget because you are worried there isn’t enough there? Does your fear of money stand in the way of you being able to live your life?
The thing to remember is that you’re not alone.
The Financial Health Network reported that in 2019, less than one-third of Americans were considered financially healthy, meaning that their financial situation caused them “a high amount of stress.”
Are you one of those people, because I sure am!
There are times where I have felt so much financial stress that it feels like I’m physically being crushed. There are other times where my mind constantly races with all of the “what-ifs” that I become restless and start panicking.
Part of me feels like we all experience financial stress, but rarely do we take the time to acknowledge how it affects our lives. Until we look at the dangers that it can cause, we probably aren’t going to be motivated to change our ways.
5 Ways Money Worries Affect Your Life
Here are some of the worst effects of financial stress and why you should get your finances in order.
P.S. I am not a financial expert, but just someone who is tired of money and stress controlling their life.
1. You Obsess Over Endless Possibilities
How many times have you found yourself stressing about what would happen if you lost your job? How would you maintain your current lifestyle? What would you do to supplement that income?
As much as I hate to admit this, I still worry that this could happen to me. At the start of the pandemic, we were told that our company would be safe financially. A few months later, they announced they were laying off 300 employees.
After being honest and open with my boss, I was told that I would be safe. But even then, there are days where I get fearful and start asking, “What if?” And if you’ve ever been in a what-if state of mind, you know those scenarios can get out of control fast. They happen all the time in everyday life—not just with our finances.
When going through this spiral, ask yourself what the possibilities are that you would actually lose your job. If you are a hard worker, it’s probably slim. If you don’t think you work hard enough, be honest and have a sit-down with your boss. Get their take and ask them to be honest with you as well.
Stressing about the what-if’s in life isn’t going to benefit you in any way. Focus on what you can control and try to let go of the endless and unrealistic possibilities.
2. Your Relationships Suffer As A Result of Money
There have been plenty of times where I have said no to going out with friends or to making memories because I didn’t want to spend money. There are also times where I have been called out for my frugality and my constant worry about money that it’s also impacted relationships as well.
At the end of the day, it’s important to have your finances in order, but don’t also be scared to live a little. This is something that I am trying to work on daily, and it’s because I have allowed financial stress to consume me for so long that it’s hard to break the habit of wanting to save every last dime.
My best piece of advice for you: find balance. Find a balance where you aren’t stressed about money, but also one where you aren’t negatively affecting your relationships.
3. Your Physical Health Suffers
Everybody knows that financial stress and stress in general is can jeopardize our health negatively. Studies show that money stress is a factor in more health issues than we realize, like diabetes, migraines, cardiovascular disease, sleep problems, and more. And for people like me, you may hold off on going to the doctor because you don’t want to spend the money, or you may hold off on getting a gym membership because it costs too much.
Look, regardless of your financial situation, don’t let it impact your physical health. Try to do everything in your control to ensure that your financial situation isn’t harming you physically. Money simply isn’t worth losing your life over.
4. Financial Stress Impacts Your Mental Health
We’re seeing more millennials – and more Americans in general – with higher rates of anxiety and depression than ever before. Part of this stems from the fact that they’ve fallen into debt at such a young age and simply don’t know how to work themselves out of it.
Financial stress is just like any other stress out there. It can cause severe anxiety, severe depression, and it can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
How sad is that? How sad is it that we have become so consumer-based oriented that some take their lives because of the financial stress they are feeling. Recent studies show that 39% of college graduates would be willing to spend a week in prison if their student loans were forgiven.
Not going to lie, I probably would too!
5. You’re Wasting Your Time and Energy
Worrying about money is only going to waste both your time and energy. It simply isn’t going to do you any good to worry.
Instead of worrying, use that time and energy to get your finances in order. Instead of worrying, use that energy to find ways to start paying off your debt. Use that time and get another job that is going to help you overcome the financial stress you are feeling.
Don’t let money or financial stress stop you from living the one life you are blessed enough to have. You are living the greatest gift known to man. No amount of financial stress is worth you not making the most out of each and every single day.
Before You Go
From someone who stresses about money, I will be the first to tell you that it simply isn’t worth it. Ask yourself something. Regardless of what you are feeling, whether you are stressed out by not having enough money or by having too much, ask yourself what’s the next best thing that you can do.
Doing the next best thing for yourself is always going to be the right thing.