Many of us with Anxiety worry about money. There is no way around it, money is a necessity. On top of that we are immersed in consumerism. There are ads everywhere, there are awesome things to buy as well. Clothes, cars, coffee (those are just the C’s) on and on. Thinking about money with Anxiety doesn’t have to be dreaded.
There are 5 things you can do with money:
- Earn it
- Save it
- Spend it
- Lose it
- Give it away
When you have anxiety, money and money problems can be overwhelming particularly when something goes wrong. Sometimes having things broken down into 5 simple categories can make the difference between a panic attack and a reprieve. Notice the order in which the 5 items are listed. They are listed in order of importance.
The first 3 are absolutes, nearly everyone participates in these. You earn money, you save some of it, you spend the rest on items you need to live. Items 2-5 are predicated on item 1, if you participate in items 2-5 beyond item 1 you will eventually go bankrupt.
The list is very simple to use. Next to item 1, put a number that represents all the money you earn. EVERYTHING. If your grandmother still sends you 20 bucks on your birthday list it. Then list the values next to 2-5 and subtract them from 1.
You’ve just completed your first basic budget. This is a critical process that we all must do to ensure our ongoing mental health and positive relationship with money. The simple exercise is to encourage you to spend less then you make. So, when you add 2-5 if you have anything left over you add it to item 2.
Item 2 then becomes a whole other discussion as this is your savings. However, if you conduct this list every month you should be able to, over time, expand each item to give you a better understanding of where your money is going. Item 3 is critical as many of us are unsure of where all our money goes. Items 4-5 may seem silly “I don’t lose money and I don’t give it away”.
Item 4 can be explained simply as money you don’t know where its going. So, if 2-5 leaves you with a surplus, where is it? Why didn’t it appear in item 2 or 3. Item 4 is a “trick” category to force you to itemize more carefully where you spend. Item 5 is money you may give to people, you buy them a coffee, or you pay a tithing at your place of worship.
I know this was wordy, but in the end think of those 5 items. Money doesn’t have to be stressful, you can exercise control over it. You are doing awesome, one day at a time……