How To Cope With Financial Anxiety

Positive steps to help understand and deal with your financial anxieties

Checking your bank account once a day, as a method of keeping yourself accountable, may appear to be harmless. However, if checking your bank account frequently makes you feel terrible, it's time to examine why you're doing it.

“If you are checking your bank account every single day, you’re probably not someone who is completely stressed out by their money,” says Aja Evans, LMHC and financial therapist for Laurel Road. However, if you experience the telltale indications of panic when you compulsively check your bank app, there are some things you can do to quickly figure out why you're anxious.

  • Take some time to check in with your emotions. Take a moment to consider how you're feeling physically if you're checking your balance habitually and you don't know why. “Are you sweating when you look at that bank account?” Evans said. “Are your palms cold? Are you having an anxiety response within your body?” Taking the time to figure out both your physical sensations as well as your emotional condition might provide clarity.
  • Be truthful with yourself. If you're going to engage in this behavior, you might as well admit why you're doing it in the first place. “If you knew what you spent every day, or if you knew what you spent the day before, and you’re checking it, what do you think is going to change?” Evans asked.
  • Identify your fears. “If you’re checking [your bank account] in fear every single day, then we’ll need to get to the root cause,” said Evans. Have you ever felt insecure about money growing up? Do you have a tendency to pessimistic self-talk? The first step in shifting your mentality is to face these concerns.
  • Take a deep breath. :) “They say that you can take seven deep breaths and that has the power to change your heart rate,” Evans said. So engage in some meditative breaths before getting anxious, so you can “create a plan, and then celebrate your wins.”
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