Finance and Anxiety: Back to basics

So with 2021 right around the corner it’s a great time to review some basics for finance. If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I have been a finance professional for nearly 30 years. I give finance advice on this blog from time to time specifically for people with anxiety. You should always get as much information you can before making financial decisions, hopefully this blog and post is one data point you use.

There are basics everyone has to take care of, regardless of your financial situation. This year has been tough, maybe you lost a job, maybe you are out of income, maybe you are working but living paycheck to paycheck and just need direction. Below are ALWAYS the things you do first financially.

  1. Buy food: If you don’t eat and drink water, you die. Food is number 1. This doesn’t mean $50 dinners, it means you get paid, you go get huge bags of rice cheap, but you get food first.
  2. Pay Rent: You need shelter, even if it’s a rat hole its better than being out in the elements or sleeping in your car.
  3. Utilities: You need heat, you need electric, you need water. All of these things cost money and they should be top priorities for you.
  4. Clothing: You need clothes. Now you don’t need designer clothes but you need basics to be warm, basics to be presentable so you can obtain a job (if you don’t have one).
  5. Transportation: You have to have a means to get around. It can be public transportation BTW (yes this costs money too) and it can be a cheap vehicle but you have to be able to get to and from work.
The Sun will come out again.

The five things above are basics, I know they seem obvious but when you are on the ropes financially it’s hard to put things in order mentally. Maybe you are out of work and or out in the cold. What do you do first? Follow this list, even if you only get to say item 3, you are fed, you have 4 walls, you have heat.

Again this is very basic info but these are the things you take care of first every month when you are in financial straits. If you have money left over after these 5 items? Start banking it to build up an emergency fund. Many people who have anxiety and mental health issues find themselves in serious financial distress especially on or around the holidays.

Take a deep breath and get back to basics. If you have these 5 things covered you are okay, and you will make it. Take it one month at a time, and as time goes on the 5 basics above happen and you can start to build a vibrant financial future.

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