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Taming the Money Monster: Strategies for Addressing Financial Anxiety


Taming the Money Monster: Strategies for Addressing Financial Anxiety

Financial stress is a serious source of anxiety for many people. Regardless of income level, money concerns are a leading cause of worry and tension in the everyday lives of Americans. So if you’re feeling the strain, you’re not alone.


A recent CNBC study found that 70% of respondents claimed to be stressed about personal finances. Approximately one-third of those making $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck, more than one in four of six-figure earners have no emergency fund, and 57% reported feeling financially stressed. In another recent study by the American Psychological Association, 65% of respondents indicated money is a significant source of stress. [1,2]


Whether fretting about paying bills on time, saving for retirement, or managing debt, financial fears can affect your emotional well-being.


While financial stress can negatively affect mental and physical health, the bright side is that there are ways to effectively manage your finances, transform your relationship with money, and build confidence in your financial present and future. By refining your money management approach and seeking assistance from a professional financial advisor, such as those at Waymark Wealth Management, you may alleviate financial stress and achieve a greater sense of financial security.


Identify Your Sources of Stress


When you encounter situations that evoke uncertainty or a sense of vulnerability, it's important to recognize what is causing those feelings. Being aware of the specific sources of stress is the key to effectively managing your financial concerns. Here are some common financial stressors and strategies to ease your worries:


Debt


Debt is a frequent cause of financial stress. While thinking about your debt may make you uncomfortable, acknowledging it is a constructive step. Begin by listing all debts and devising a plan to pay them off. Focus on high-interest debts and allocate larger payments towards them first. You might also consider consolidating your debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate, which could make payments more manageable. A well-structured debt-reduction plan can help you regain control of your finances and alleviate stress.


Lack of Planning


Having a financial plan can reduce uncertainty and anxiety. Without one, you may feel lost when it comes to saving, spending, and investing. Knowing your destination, what you're building, and the steps needed to pursue your goals fosters confidence in your financial choices. Set objectives and create a plan to attain them. This will ultimately benefit your financial journey and should lead to more peace of mind surrounding your finances.


Your Relationship with Money


Negative beliefs and emotions around money impact financial decisions and may lead to poor financial outcomes.


Take time to reflect on how you feel about money and identify any negative beliefs or emotions you may have. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help you develop a healthier relationship with money, improve your financial decision-making, and boost your financial well-being.


Employment Concerns


Financial stress related to employment can arise from job loss, job insecurity, low income, or even dissatisfaction with your career.


Having a plan in place in case of job loss or income reduction is a must. If you find yourself dealing with uncertain employment situations, it's worth considering the development of new skills or seeking further education to enhance your career opportunities.


How a Professional Can Lighten Your Load


Partnering with a professional financial advisor can be an excellent way to address financial stress and work toward your financial goals with less anxiety. Together, you can go through your sources of stress and devise a plan to address them and feel more in control of your finances.


Comprehensive Financial Planning


A qualified financial advisor will prioritize comprehensive financial planning, which involves looking at your entire financial situation and creating a plan that considers all aspects of your financial life. This can include retirement planning, tax strategies, investment planning, and estate planning strategies. By taking a comprehensive approach, you can make more informed financial decisions and help improve your overall financial health.


Get Personalized Advice


One of the most notable advantages of collaborating with a financial advisor is the ability to receive personalized, professional advice. Financial advisors are well-trained professionals who can offer insights and direction, empowering you to make informed financial decisions and help avoid costly missteps.


Tap into Expertise and Experience


An experienced advisor can provide valuable insights into investment opportunities, tax strategies, and other financial matters. By tapping into their knowledge and experience, you’ll take the guesswork out of managing your finances and have someone to turn to with money questions as they arise.


Benefit from Accountability and Support


Teaming up with a financial advisor also offers the benefits of accountability and support. Your advisor will assist you in staying on track toward your financial goals and ensure you're making progress. They can also offer support and guidance during challenging times like market downturns or unforeseen life events.


Partnering with a professional financial advisor can help to explain and explore the changes as they arise, especially as your wealth grows and your finances become more complex.


Focus on What You Can Control


No matter how well we plan, some things are simply outside of our control. We can’t dictate what happens in the economy, job market, or financial markets, and we don’t always know when personal circumstances will change. Rather than allowing uncertainty to rule, the better option is to plan ahead and focus on the aspects of your finances you can control.


Stick to the Plan


Once you've developed a financial plan with your advisor, it's important to stick to it. This can help you avoid making impulsive financial decisions that may not be in your best interest. Your advisor can help keep you on track and adjust as needed to ensure you're on the right path.


Communicate with Your Advisor


While it's important to stick to your financial plan, unexpected events that require a change in direction can happen. If something unexpected comes up, communicate with your financial advisor so they can help you pivot and make any necessary adjustments to your plan.


Focus on Time-Tested Investment Strategies


The financial world is full of flashy and enticing investing tactics that promise rapid returns or guaranteed profits. However, these schemes often prove too good to be true, resulting in costly mistakes. We believe in ignoring these distractions and maintaining a solid, long-term investment strategy.


Learn from the Past


Economic situations may be outside our direct influence, but we can use the lessons of the past to make well-informed financial decisions. History demonstrates that markets typically recover from downturns, and a long-term investment approach can help us strive toward our financial objectives.


Creating a Focused Financial Future


Your financial journey has a tremendous impact on your life, and it is natural to feel a little pressure at times. Although it is challenging to envision a completely stress-free financial future, you can work to create a plan for managing your finances that leads to more confidence and less worry.


Reducing the factors that lead to financial stress can pave the way toward financial stability and freedom. Imagine how it would feel to reset your relationship with money so that stress plays a minimal role in your life in the future. Remember, taking control of your finances is a journey, and it starts with the first step. So, take that step today and start building a brighter financial future for yourself.


Brendan is the Managing Director for Waymark Wealth Management. He has extensive experience in comprehensive wealth management. His focus includes retirement planning, behavioral finance, investment portfolio construction, education funding, insurance & risk management, taxes, charitable giving, and estate planning. Brendan has an ability to take clients' complex visions and distill them down to simple action plans, helping them move from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.


Sources:

1. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/11/70percent-of-americans-feel-financially-stressed-new-cnbc-survey-finds.html

2. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2022/infographics-march


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.


This material was prepared by Crystal Marketing Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate and is intended merely for educational purposes, not as advice.

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