How to stop worrying about money and start living when you are a complete worrywart?
Do you think about money when you should be sleeping?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could stop stressing and start living and loving life?
If you are like I used to be then without control over your finances, you are living paycheck to paycheck, and losing sleep.
The worry about debt, about how you will manage this month, next month keeps you awake and churns in your mind during the day.
This a horrible place to be and isn’t healthy for you. We need to get you out of this worrywart state and into a better place.
Where you can get rid of your money stress once and for all.
Learning how to stop worrying about money will give you back sleep, peace of mind and help you start enjoying life again.
the 2 step process
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Why worrying is bad for you
Money has a lot to answer for. It can impact your relationships, your job, where you live and how much you enjoy life.
Worrying all the time about money can become a bad habit that you find difficult to get out of; the what if’s constantly filling your brain.
These are just some of the reasons it’s really important why you shouldn’t worry about money and you should break the worry habit:
1. Zaps your energy
Being constantly anxious about money means you are never at rest. Your brain is always on the go, worrying about the what if’s, the how’s and the why’s.
Leaving you with no energy to tackle your financial problems head on, which of course is what you need to do in order to change things.
2. Creates a fog around you
The excessive worry about money and lack of energy leaves you feeling disconnected from life. You haven’t got the energy to join in the chatter at work or have the brain space to think about others.
It’s like you’re in a fog, where everything is dim and distant and not quite as it seems.
3. destroys your enjoyment feeling
No energy, feeling disconnected from others, leads to the very enjoyment of your life being slowly destroyed and taken away from you.
Financial worries won’t let you enjoy life, there’s too much to think about, to be anxious about, to enjoy yourself.
4. wastes so much time!
Time is something we never get more of and worrying takes up so much of your day, every day.
It takes away your sleep, you spend longer doing simple tasks because your mind is not fully focused on that task.
5. affects you physically
Your mind and your thoughts can make you physically sick. It can start with headaches and your muscles tensing causing you pain. But the physical toll can be much more serious than that.
High blood pressure, chest pain, ulcers and your body in fully fledged stress mode. All. The. Time.
6. affects your mentally
And your mental health is not free from the effects of this anxiety. Anxiety, depression, turning to alcohol to numb the mental pain are all symptoms. You turn on yourself, finding fault with everything you do.
How not to worry about money and start living
These real and serious effects on you and your body are not permanent and can be reversed.
Taking steps to change how you think and what you do will make a huge difference to how you feel and your ability to deal with your money situation.
Being physically active not only releases those little endorphins we all know about but it also relieves stress, improves your sleep and boosts your mood, according to a report by Simply Health and YouGov.
You don’t need to start paying out for a gym subscription, not when we are talking about money being a problem right now.
Walking is a great form of exercise, it’s free and has the added benefit of getting you lungfuls of fresh air.
face your fears
Facing up to your fears and taking action regardless is amazingly powerful. We have a tendency to try and wait it out, until the thing we fear goes away, but it doesn’t.
Dr Susan Jeffers, author of
By taking action regardless of our fears, we push through and prove to ourselves that we can handle it. The more action we take, the more we prove to ourselves we can do it.
Related post: 7 reasons why you can’t save money and how to fix them
keep away from alcohol
It’s very easy to turn to alcohol when times are tough. “Drowning your sorrows” is a popular saying. Unfortunately they don’t drown, they reappear worse the next day and continue to increase.
Alcohol only provides temporary numbness, long term it does more damage than good. If alcohol has been your turn to stress reliever, then turn away and find another drink to quench your thirst.
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment, of focusing only on that moment and clearing your thoughts of everything else. Easier said than done perhaps.
What I like about mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere, while you’re washing up, in the bath, on your lunch break.
There are free apps you can use to provide guided mindfulness which I find particularly useful when I am stressed and not able to get in the zone easily.
start a journal
Many people journal as a way to record their daily lives, or to practice gratitude for what life offers. It’s also a good way to organize your thoughts and work through them to find solutions.
I am an on-off journaller. I find journalling works best for me when I allow my pen to flow quickly and randomly without worrying about what my handwriting is like or whether anyone is going to read it later.
practice self care
We humans can be very hard on ourselves, usually just when we need a little extra TLC. You start thinking you are the problem and you stop looking after yourself.
No matter your situation, you are always worth self love.
Start by getting dressed every morning in something other than your joggers. If you wear make-up, put a little on even if you are not going out.
Practicing some positive affirmations out loud can also help you think more positively.
15 Practical actions to Stop worrying about money and start living
Pay yourself first
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to think “why do I worry about money about money when I have enough?”
If you’re going to learn how to not worry about your finances then you need to be reassured you have got some money saved.
Paying yourself first is about your goals, your future and your retirement.
If you are stressing about money and debt then until you put yourself first you will continue to stress.
If you don’t pay yourself first then your ability to save your money will be reduced as you will spend the money in your bank account.
Very few people can save decent money every month when it’s sat in your everyday bank account.
If your long term plan is to save six months worth of living expenses as an emergency fund then set up an automatic payment to save this into a separate account straight after pay day.
Be Kind To Your Future Self
Don’t get stuck in the present and fall into the trap of YOLO and only think about the now.
Think about the future. You in the future – your future self – will also need money.
And the future you wants to be in a safe place. The only way I know how to stop worrying about money in retirement is to make sure you have enough.
How much money do you need so you don’t worry about money? This wholly depends on your lifestyle, where you live, your bills and costs.
But remember this: you’re not going to want to work forever and state pension/social security does not pay as much as you probably want or need.
Plus you might lose your job, cut your hours etc.
Decisions you make now will impact your future self.
Make them sensible decisions.
Don’t Get Into Debt
The biggest mistake you can make is to go into debt to fund your lifestyle.
You get used to living beyond your means so trying to pay it back is incredibly hard and every day your financial situation feels tight.
How to stop worrying about debt will keep you awake at night until you change things and learn how to stop spending money you don’t have.
Taking steps to clear your debt is key for you to get to the point when you don’t have to worry about money any more.
A mortgage is the only debt ideally you want to have, and that’s only because it’s almost impossible to save enough to pay for a house in cash – if only house prices were that cheap!
Many people have credit card debt and a student loan or two.
Credit cards aren’t bad, indeed you can earn money and rewards with them, but always pay off your balance in full every month.
If you do have debt then prioritize and work out how to pay off the debt fast so you can enjoy life without money worries.
“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self”Nathan W Morris
Give Yourself A Budget To Stop Your money worries
And stick to it! Having a budget means you are allocating your money to various bills, savings and fun money spending.
You need to budget and save money in order to then track your spending and know whether you are on track to achieve your budget.
Your budget will reassure you that you have enough to pay your bills and eat each month allowing you to relax and reduce that constant anxious feeling.
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value”Joe Biden
These posts will help you live successfully on a budget:
How To Budget Your Money When You Don’t Know How
How To Survive, Thrive And Save Money On A Tight Budget
How To Successfully Live On One Income (With 30+ Helpful Tips)
Stop Emotional Spending
Many people are influenced by their emotions. Some people are emotional eaters, and some people are emotional shoppers.
It’s a bit like the saying – don’t go shopping when you are hungry as you’ll buy more food.
Don’t go shopping when you are having a blue day.
You’ll spend more trying to make yourself feel better which won’t last because you’ll later feel bad for spending too much.
Same goes for when you are celebrating or having a great day.
Don’t go spending as you’ll treat yourself too much as part of those celebrations.
Related post: How To Stop Shopping: 9 Tips For Success
Keep Your Taxes Down
We all have to pay our taxes and they in turn pay for much that is in our interest in our daily lives.
But you can legitimately reduce your taxes and keep more of your money. Make sure you know your countries tax efficient laws.
Here in the UK you can save into a pension and get tax back from the government. We also have tax free ISA savings.
In the US the 401k and/or a Roth IRA provides for tax efficient savings.
Have a rainy day fund
Having money you can access as soon as you get hit with an unexpected bill is such a relief.
No need to worry about how to pay such a bill, you have the cash you can pay it.
When life throws you curve balls having that emergency cash will help you deal with whatever the problem is without stressing about the financial side.
Your rainy day fund should be $/£1000 to start.
And ideally you want to work up to 3-6 months of living expenses in case you get the ultimate curve ball and lose your job.
If losing your job is a worry and you want to stop worrying about it, build your rainy day fund up to a reassuring level.
Related post: Why You Should Have Two Emergency Cash Accounts
Grab your copy of the Money Saving Mini Bundle and start saving money today
Live Below Your Means
If you live paycheck to paycheck you’ll never get ahead and never be able to pay yourself first.
Nor will you cope if you have an unexpected emergency as you won’t have built up a rainy day fund.
When you first start working you might be on a low wage.
As your paychecks get bigger don’t allow lifestyle creep to happen so that you are spending all of your new raise.
Living below your means has much to offer.
It offers you a lifestyle when you don’t have to worry about money. Where you can enjoy the life you have.
If you lived like a student does, on a very low income, you could save thousands!
Although maybe you want to be somewhere between a student lifestyle and an excessive one!
Key thing is, don’t spend all your wages; always save some, for your future self, for a rainy day fund, for retirement.
If you do all that you’ll be in great financial shape!
You pay an absolute premium for buying new. A new car loses up to 30% of it’s value as soon as you drive it off the dealerships forecourt.
Same goes for expensive tools and even new build houses.
Buy used and you will save a fortune. Buy a car that’s 3+ years old.
Check out Ebay or your local Facebook group for used items. Hit the charity/thrift shops for new to you clothes.
This is an easy way to save money on stuff that you’re going to buy anyway.
Track your spending
If you track what you spend and what you earn then you will know what financial page you are on.
Knowing where your money is going is key to making good decisions and being able to stop worrying about money.
Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses
They are in debt and living beyond their means. Nor are they happy.
Their lifestyle is not real, it’s a castle in the sand and at any moment could be washed away.
That is not how you want to live.
The Joneses have loads of stuff but has it made them happy? They can’t be happy if they keep wanting more.
Be Happy With What You Have
Do you worry about money even when you have enough? Please don’t! So many people have less than those around us.
If you are constantly saying to yourself “all i think about is money” then take a step back. Learn how to stop caring about money and you will be so much happier.
We are always chasing after more and not stopping to look around us and be grateful for what we have.
We often fall into the trap of always wanting more: the newest phone, the latest TV, a bigger house.
Being happy with what you have is very freeing. You are free from the constant strive and desire for something you don’t have.
You are free from worrying how you can afford the more expensive option.
Free from having to care about every penny.
Learn how to stop caring about money, enjoy what you have and you’ll stop worrying so much as you’re not chasing after the Joneses.
“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest”Henry David Thoreau
Nurture Your Relationships
Having strong relationships with your partner, family and friends around you will really help you in your quest to learn how to stop worrying about money and start enjoying your life.
Being able to talk about your worries will always make you feel better.
“A problem shared is a problem halved”
Friends and family can often provide nuggets of wisdom that you might not have heard before. They can share their experiences which you can learn from.
Most people at some point in their lives have worried about money. Support your friends and family with their problems and they will return the favor.
If you have furry friends, there is nothing better than getting out for a walk or snuggling up on the sofa with them.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”Winston Churchill
You Have Your Health
Worth more than all the money you can earn and some. Without health you have nothing.
You can’t earn money if your health is bad (or worse!)
Money can make your health a little bit better or more comfortable but it certainly can’t buy you good health.
Putting your health first, before money, is a key part of learning how to stop worrying about money.
Worry, stress and anxiety are actually bad for your health. Reduce your excessive worry about money, develop healthy habits and incorporate them into your life.
They will help you stop worrying and your health will improve as will how you feel.
You Can’t Take Your Money With You
You need to spend your money wisely and ensure you have enough for today and your future self.
But there is no point in having 2 million left on your death bed.
Nor is there any point slaving forever to get those millions if you cannot enjoy them because you are too ill or old to do so.
Being totally focused on money means you end up thinking about money all the time, stop!
You need to get a balanced view of what money can do for you.
Stop thinking about money all the time, stop worrying about money and start enjoying your life.
You only get one shot at your life.
Everything in moderation is a great way to view most things in life.
How not to worry About Money And Start Living
Following all or some of these tips really will help you learn how to stop worrying so much.
Money can rule your life when you don’t have enough or don’t have control over it.
Take back control of your finances through following these tips and learn to love your life and sleep easy at night.
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Last Updated on 16th November 2021 by Emma
14 thoughts on “How to Stop Worrying About Money And Start Living”
I love your take on this. The belief in balance between being absolutely frugal and allowing yourself to spend excessively really struck a cord with me. The concept of paying yourself first is what I have done this month, after this suggestion. I usually just track what I am spending and try to reduce it month on month, but I see the idea of cultivating peace of mind long-term from now as one of my critical targets. Your post has helped me to become more aware of what my emotions are telling me and you suggest simple ways to fix these. Thanks – I am actioning some your suggestions today. First of all, I am going to look at my existing work clothes and develop a work uniform – inspired suggestion!
Helen | budgetingisachallenge.com
Hi Helen, I’m so pleased this post has helped you make positive changes. Spending money really is such an emotional rollercoaster whether we spend too much or too little. I promise you having a work uniform will make such a difference to your mornings and your bank balance AND it frees up your mind for more important things like making a cup of tea! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for a great post. Definitely food for thought. I’ve been in a very good financial situation (only debt is mortgage and an interest free bed purchase which we could have bought outright but figured why not spread out the cost at no extra expense to us). I have some emergency savings, I plan my spending out annually to make sure I’m prepared for big bills and I have an emergency fund. I also have a growing pension and some savings invested in ISAs. All sounds great right? Trouble is I still worry about money! More than I should. My challenge is that I’ve been doing IT work that I have fallen out of love with. I finished my last contract in May and am living off my business savings while I try to build up alternative income streams. My IT business savings will run out sometime around April next year and my new business income is nowhere near enough to cover my monthly expenses yet. The thought of going back to IT work fills me with dread. *sigh* Any ideas to help me ramp up my alternative income quickly? I’ve even been thinking of going car-less to take a decent chunk out of my expenses, but can I survive without my own car? Not sure!
Sorry for massively long comment, just thought it might be worth weighing in to let you know that even if you seemingly look financially set, it’s not always the case…
Thanks again for a thought provoking post.
I’ll be honest – I’m not great at side hustles as the day job takes all of my energy and some. However my initial thought is Matched Betting. I keep meaning to try it but my brain doesn’t really work in the evenings especially now I’m fitting blogging in on top of working. Being in IT you’ll be used to detail which I think MB needs. Alternatively, what about freelance writing? Ruth over at Ruthmakesmoney has some fab posts on this (she also has info on MB). Both have the potential to provide you with a monthly income in the hundreds I think if you can put the initial work in.
Going car-less is also an option, probably when you hit the empty account point but selling your car could provide a few months expenses and it’s amazing how you can get by with a few taxi’s/ubers or internet shopping if necessary. Disclaimer – I chose not to do this when I had the option 🙂 Otherwise you are doing fabulously financially!
I’ve only had a rainy day fund/emergency fund these past couple of years.
Evidently, not having one was one of the factors of my getting into big credit card debt, yet after I’d paid off said debts, I still didn’t have one. What did I do in emergencies then? Use 0% credit cards, paid off before the interest kicks in!
However, I now feel more comfortable having a wad of cash for back up – the credit cards are a last resort.
Well done on paying those debts off and having the discipline to pay off 0% cards before they crank up the interest rates. If you are super disciplined then 0% cards have their place in your emergency plans but like you I feel better having cold, hard cash as my back up as well – just in case. (Of course not actual cash, just readily available cash!)
My number 1 piece of financial advice to my kids is your first point – pay yourself first. It is so important to think about spending what is left after saving rather than saving what is left after spending. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount in the beginning, even if it is tiny – it’s the discipline that counts. And big snowballs grow out of tiny snowflakes.
You are so right – the discipline is what makes the difference over the long term. I think if you don’t have the discipline of saving and paying yourself first you’ll always be on the back foot with your finances.
Fun pin. All good ideas here. Some easier to put into practice when you actually have the funds to do so (e.g. rainy day fund). Never heard the phrase ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’…so that’s what friends are for! 🙂
So true, getting the savings traction going can be hard but well worth the effort and possible sacrifice. That saying must be a UK one then, that along with “look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” was repeated throughout my teens.
I love this post. YOLO, has got everybody spending money they don’t have and banishing their future self to a life of indebtedness. I personally like the Keep taxes down the suggestion. People worry all the time about the price of something or how to save money but for me if I can save money on taxes it is an immediate 30% return on investment.
Completely agree Shawn! Why pay more tax than you need to? Our governments want us to save for our futures so we are not reliant upon them in our later years. YOLO has a lot to answer for.
“Be Kind To Your Future Self” …. LOVE IT! The number of people I hear saying “Life is too short…Live now” is insane. Yet we are told that we’re living longer and there is even talk of the 100 year life!
Thanks Ken. YOLO is all very well but we want to be saying YOLO when we’re 80 and more! Life is too short NOT to save for our later years because who wants to be having to work to live when we are 70 or 80? Thanks for stopping by!