As humans, we all go through struggles. It seems as if anxiety and depression are rooted in everyone’s DNA, but especially the younger generations’. According to CNBC, Millennials are three times more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety than baby boomers and Gen-Zers were four times more likely. Whether this is because of social media, our phones, finances, or this has been the case for a long time and it’s just now socially accepted to talk about, anxiety plays a huge part in almost all of our lives.
Anxiety is a topic that really hits home for me. When I was growing up, I really struggled with anxiety. And when I say I really struggled with it, I mean that. I remember days in grade school where every little thing made me feel overwhelmed. And it all stemmed from this extreme fear of not being good enough for everyone else. I felt like I had something to prove to anyone and everyone and the only way to prove it was by being perfect in everything I did. Whether it was the homework that was due that day, the test coming up later in the week, or even just how I was around my friends, I was always worried I was not good enough.
Having this mindset at an early age was neither healthy nor sustainable. You are never going to be happy when you search for happiness in the way other people view you. Luckily, I had parents who were super involved and saw this anxiety taking over my life. They knew the best next step was for me to see a therapist and I am so thankful I did, because without it, I am not sure how I would have gotten through this time.
What I learned from this experience is that anxiety takes over in times where you feel like you have no control. And in a life with so much uncertainty, it can be hard to feel like you have any control. I mean just look at the last 6 months of our lives, so many things have happened that were out of our control. And if you focus exclusively on those things, anxiety will take its toll on you.
In finance, this theme still holds true. There are so many things that we have no control over. We can’t control inflation. We can’t control whether the Federal Reserve changes interest rates. And we certainly can’t control how the market is doing on a yearly basis! So, it is completely understandable why people have such a hard time feeling at peace with their finances.
Well, what therapy taught me was that the only way I could overcome anxiety from my life is by focusing on the things I actually can control. And if I do this, then everything will fall in place. Sure, there are going to be some hard times. Things might not always go my way. But, if I just do my best and control what I can control, then things will eventually work themselves out and I will be right where I need to be.
So, as it relates to your own financial life, the key is to take control of all the little things you can. And everytime you do, you take away a little bit of the power that anxiety holds over you. And if you compound this overtime and continue to control what you can control, you will ultimately reach financial freedom.
Here are 20 strategies you can implement into your life to take control financially:
- Living below our means
- Creating a budget
- Contributing to our 401(k)’s
- Only buying things we can afford
- Making extra payments towards debt
- Our behavior and sticking with the plan
- Building an emergency fund
- Pay your credit card bill every month on time
- Investing based on your proper risk tolerance
- Automating your savings
- Not eating out for every meal
- Not overusing your credit card
- Setting realistic goals and doing everything in your power to achieve them
- Getting a second job to help get rid of debt quicker
- Getting insurance to protect against the what if’s in life
- Cut back on excessive spending
- Monitor your credit
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- Investing for your future
- Aligning your spending with what matters most