If you were already worried about money before COVID-19, there is a big possibility that the pandemic has increased your uncertainty about your financial future. And if you have a family, your worry about taking care of them financially has no doubt sharply increased.
You are not alone and it is not fun. Almost a third of all Australians have been financially affected by COVID, and many more to come as we move into 2021.
But if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that worry and anxiety are debilitating. They stop you thinking analytically, and cause you to make decisions out of fear, rather than long-term planning.
So here are three ways to banish anxiety from your money making decisions.
- Kill your debt.
Not necessarily your mortgage, which is building an asset (unless of course you are mortgaged too much, which is another anxiety-causing issue). All other debt has to go. Cars, credit cards, AfterPay and everything that is dragging you down. A fierce focus on eradicating debt from your life, even if it takes years, is a positive step to decreasing anxiety and feeling as if your head is above water.
- Put more in your super – even if it is just a little.
Statistics have shown that people who put just 5% more into their super a year feel more confident about their financial future. It is a positive step toward making sure “future you” is okay.
- Learn to identify the triggers of your anxiety.
When you think about money, what is your emotional reaction? Do you feel fear? Stress? Uncertainty? These are all unpleasant emotions, and lead us around an exhausting cycle of stress and emotional discomfort.
I have found the art of ‘mindfulness’ around the emotions money creates for me can really help break the mental cycle of stress. To do this I use an app called “10 percent happier,” which is a meditation app that helps you train your brain and harness your emotions.
It’s literally 10-12 minutes per day and easy to use. There are many other apps that also do the same thing. Your mind is your biggest detractor around being positive with money if you don’t understand what drives it to fear and stress. While it may sound very new-age, mindfulness is the new exercise, and is extremely valuable.
There is no changing the uncertain world we live in. The only thing we can change is ourselves and how we feel about it. You can reduce your anxiety around money by taking small steps in the right direction. A plan that takes time is better than no plan at all.