Let’s face it—money can be scary, especially if you’re low on funds. Even worse? Money-related stress can wreak havoc on our lives—it’s the leading cause of stress for most Americans, according to the American Psychological Association—which is why it’s critical to take proactive steps to manage your relationship with money.
Whether you’re feeling the financial pinch or simply hoping to improve your relationship with money, here are a few tips to help manage your money-related fears:
Stop seeing money as good or bad
Most fears associated with money stem from pre-existing beliefs, and many of us think of money as good or bad. Instead, think of it as a neutral resource.
Remember, money is a tool. Recognize your current beliefs and ditch the meaning behind them to shift your reactions, feelings, and fears. This will help you transform your entire relationship with money by making it much less personal.
After all, money only means what you believe it means.
Develop a “circulation” mindset toward money
Mindset is key, especially when it comes to money. If your mindset is set on lack instead of a luxury, you’ll always be living with less than you deserve.
When I launched my business, I bought a one-way ticket to Bali with $800 and a laptop. Everything I earned after that was a result of choosing faith over fear. I didn’t always know how the money would come, but I always knew it would.
Resist the urge to think of money as a limited resource. Look at all of the money out in the world, and notice how it behaves. Money is currency and it behaves like a current. It’s flowing from person to person, place to place, and the money you spend will come back to you. Trust and believe that it will—shift your mindset from can’t to can—and the “how” will follow.
Have a daily date with your money
Schedule five minutes out of your day to check your bank account, pay more attention to your spending habits, and make a point to remind yourself that you care about (and control) your money.
We nurture the things we care about and, in turn, they grow. The same thing applies to money. When you check your finances daily—instead of when a potential crisis arises—you’re reducing the amount of anxiety you feel around money, and it becomes part of your regular routine instead of something for you to avoid or fear. Remember that you will be okay no matter what.
Money doesn’t make you okay, you make you okay.
Don’t let money be associated with happiness, because it doesn’t deserve that kind of control over you. Believe in yourself and your own power, and let that serve as a foundation for your own growth.
Experts suggest that self-confidence—not a certain dollar amount in the bank—is one of the foundations of success. And people with higher levels of self-confidence experience less stress and anxiety, increased resilience, improved motivation, and other benefits.
Treat money and finances like a learnable skill
We aren’t always taught personal finance but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn it on your own. It’s never too late to take action, and that effort pays off.
Money isn’t some mystical force. No matter what your financial situation is now, step into your power and remember that money is something that you control — not the other way around.