Get Snowball Wealth on your iPhone Download
  • Blog
  • Is Money Anxiety Holding You Back?

Is Money Anxiety Holding You Back?

This week, we hosted a Q&A session with Lisette Sanchez, PhD., a bilingual and bicultural licensed psychologist and coach. She is the founder of Calathea Wellness, a virtual practice providing individual therapy and coaching services. We recap the conversation below, and hope it helps you build habits for reducing and tackling money anxiety and increasing your confidence around making [money] decisions.

Our goal for our premium membership is to provide you with the tools to reduce debt and start building wealth and to help you improve your money mindset and build habits to reach your financial goals.

Anxiety vs. Clinical Anxiety (Anxiety Disorder)

Everyone experiences anxiety symptoms, it is usually a response to an environmental factor and/or a response to a situation, for example, the first time you’re going to do some public speaking, or presenting the status of a big project to your managers. Usually when the stressor goes away, the anxiety comes down. Sometimes anxiety can even be motivational–a catalyst to getting you started on your work.

Anxiety manifests itself in different ways, physically (headaches, stomach aches, fatigue, sleep difficulties) , emotionally (angry, maybe you feel tearful), and/or behavioral (not checking your bank account, isolating, or using substances to cope).

Clinical anxiety may begin to show up with no identifiable stressor and the physical, emotional, and or behavioral symptoms begin to impact your quality of life. Think constantly worrying, and rumination. For example, when you begin to miss your bills you start noticing that you are having way more late fees, but it seems scary (nearly impossible) to pick up the phone to talk to someone about this because it feels unmanageable. If you resonate with some of the clinical anxiety symptoms, seek help from a licensed therapist.

Please avoid self-diagnosing.

What is money anxiety?

Money anxiety can be defined as the worry, fear or unease around your finances.

Sometimes it might be because you have a lack of funds, and that doesn’t necessarily always mean that you have less. Sometimes you have too much money and there’s some stress that can come with that as well (more money, more problems).

Money anxiety can be especially difficult because if you’re not in control of your money it’s hard to be in control of other things.

Coping mechanisms

When you’re feeling negatively aroused (your heart’s racing, you’re feeling those physiological symptoms in your body of that stress) a grounding exercise is something that you do that brings you back into that present moment, and lets you begin to identify what is stressing you out.

A favorite is breathing exercises which help reduce your heart rate, and they reduce the levels of cortisol in your body.

Another coping mechanism is beginning to reduce your fear around it (money for example). To reduce the fear we have to increase our exposure, because many times the reason we feel so stressed is because we don’t understand it (what the heck are NFTs anyway?), and because it scares us. We’re just trying to figure it all out and it is really overwhelming. Luckily we can dive into learning at our own pace, with the internet and communities like ours. Which can help increase your exposure and reduce some of the stress and scariness around it.

Money is stressful. That is why we’ve built a free community of women to support each other. Join our free community here.

What does the last step look like for you? Do you want to feel like you’re completely competent with your financial literacy? This may feel super stressful right now–thinking about how to navigate all of that. But when you’re breaking it down into one step at a time, it becomes more accessible and less overwhelming.

Use our roadmap to help create more clarity around what some potential money steps could be and how to get there.

Money Triggers?

Begin by observing and recognizing your triggers.

Then reflect on the following questions; is this something that is stressful because it’s making me feel inadequate and it’s something that I need to know, or is this stressful because it’s not helpful at all? Let’s say you’re following someone and the way that they talk about your hobbies or wealth makes you feel really uncomfortable or makes you feel inadequate and insecure. The best thing to do may be to stop following that account.

Money and family

Setting family boundaries is really challenging. Especially when you are coming from a collectivist culture or like a culture where, you know, you’re expected to respect your elders, do as they ask, and not really have options or the agency to decide for yourself.

However, boundaries are really important. They help with our mental health and can even improve our relationships with our families. It is really scary to set boundaries because it’s a shift in the dynamic, and it can feel incredibly selfish, but what you need to remember is that we have to put on our mask first before we can help someone else. If your needs are not being met, then you will not be able to sustain that type of support that you want to give to your loved ones (if that is something you want to do).

Start by acknowledging it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be uncomfortable, and maybe even scary, but once you set a boundary, you begin to feel peace, and at ease.

Remember that you’re doing this because you want to help yourself so that you can better help them, if that’s what you’re feeling called to do.

What should people with money anxiety strive for?

When you are thinking about money you’ll be more excited, you’ll feel more motivated, instead of feeling paralyzed, instead of feeling inadequate. And if there’s ever something that you don’t understand but you don’t know, instead of feeling fear, you feel excitement to learn something new.

Try this. Think about waking up tomorrow and your money anxiety is completely gone. And you are now that person that you’re waiting to be, you have entered into your ideal self, you’re the IT person. How do you know that you’re there? What feels differently in your body? What do you notice is different in how you’re thinking? And when you open your eyes, what do you notice that’s different about the space?

Maybe you’re feeling more rested? Maybe you’re feeling more excited?

Think about that because each person’s idea of being free of anxiety around your finances is very different. Journal about that because then you’re not going to remember when you get there that you are working so hard to get there.

Make a long-lasting shift in your money mindset and habits with Snowball Premium our tool that provides personalized guidance from our money coaches for you to start your wealth journey!

Related categories

Sign up for our newsletter for monthly financial tips!