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Money Makes Me Anxious! Understanding Financial Anxiety

When Jessie J said “It’s all about the money money money!” we could all relate - we need it for survival and that's kinda a big deal 🙄

I’m already an anxious person, but thinking about money makes me even more anxious! Every time there’s talk about how inflation is going to increase the cost of living…OOF, it just sends me into a spiral of “how on Earth am I going to make it to the end of the month, let alone save for the future?!” 😩 

If you get panicked about looking at your bank account or your wallet, then my lovesss you’re not alone! 

Financial Anxiety is really common. Especially if, like me, you were never taught money management skills! As a student with limited work hours per week, during term I worked part-time at a cafe - but man it didn’t pay well! It was SUUUPER hard for me to save for rent and other expenses, I had to just eat cup noodles most nights 😭😭

It made me sooo anxious because I never got to spend on myself and have a good time! Getting to grips with money management really helped - which started with hours long lectures from my parents, but in the end it really helped me save up!

So let’s see what Financial Anxiety looks like…👀

Obviously it's anxiety caused by money-related challenges - but anyone can experience it, even if we’re well off!

The main thing is the stress of managing finances that leads to a long lasting impact on our mental, physical and social health. While it's not diagnosed clinically, it’s an extremely common type of anxiety and can stem from various things, for example, thinking of how to support our families when retirement is right around the riverbend. 💁‍♀️

Symptoms of Financial Anxiety

Knowing the symptoms of Financial Anxiety can help us understand and cope with it better.

Most symptoms of money anxiety are shared with general anxiety, which we have a great article on! That said, there are some that are more closely likely with Financial Anxiety. 

Avoidant Behaviour

Oh god! When I was paying rent I avoided every money-related conversation with my family and my flatmates. 😭 I would put off checking our bill-splitting apps for weeks, telling myself “I’m just too busy with uni and work!!” Of course that didn't really help, it only made me more anxious about it. 🥶

This happens because dealing with the reality of financial issues seems very stressful, so we try to avoid it for as long as we can, triggering a negative thought-spiral as our thinking gets worse and worse.

Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour

Alright alright, come out of hiding my Monica Gellers!! 🙃 Me and my money problems had me opening my banking app 10 times a day! Every time I travelled I would check how much money I had, then I’d check my work app to see when payday was that month, as if that made it come any sooner! 🤦‍♀️

This obsessive compulsive behaviour is completely normal when we are experiencing money anxiety. Checking financial news, apps, and wallets again and again just to make sure how much we are left with and how much we spend - when we already know the answer - is another common symptom of Financial anxiety.


My friend was going through a bit of a financial crisis recently, but when I suggested they sell some stuff that they didn’t use, it got really baaaad. At first they agreed, but when we sat down to separate the items, they had allll the excuses to not sell anything because it was either “I’m sure I can use this” or “but I’m so attached to it” - even when they didn’t use the items at all!!

Hoarding behaviour can also lead to a panicked feeling that someone might steal things from you and an inability to prioritise belongings that benefit us properly.

Compulsive Buying

This is the part where we’ve gotta acknowledge that little voice inside our heads which says “Money DOES buy happiness and I can prove it!! 🙄🙄🙄 

My flatmate really got into a habit of spending a lot of money on clothes because it “made their depression go away”. It got to a point where they kept asking for money from people around them to spend on shopping…

This is pretty normal when we are going through money anxiety because it triggers a response in our heads that makes us want to maintain our luxury lifestyle, even if it’s just on the surface. We often do it for social reasons, to show people around us that we’re not short on money - but also just for ourselves. 

The thing is, eventually we feel guilty about buying those things, so the excitement is just limited to spending the money and this can easily get us into a cycle of buying more things to soothe the guilt so 🛑🛑🛑 if you can! 

Poor Work-Life Balance

When I was going through financial anxiety, I thought that to get more money I just needed to work more, since I was paid hourly. So I used to work 14 hours a day, yes FOURTEEN hours and it didn’t help that my shift started at 5:30 in the morning! 🤡 

I burnt myself out completely by the end of the week and barely had weekends off because I used to volunteer to cover other colleagues’ shifts! What did I learn from that? It’s not the best idea to burn ourselves out completely just because we’d be getting more money: Burning ourselves out means that we’re going to end up falling ill and where will all that money go then? HOSPITAL BILLS AND MEDICINE!! 🏥 And LESS productive time in the future!

Experiencing money anxiety can be a struggle, but the good thing is we CAN overcome it! It’s just a matter of managing our finances and our relationship with them! I know it’s easier said than done but I know you can do it. 💸

That might include looking for a therapist or financial coach, or contacting our local doctor for help. And guess what? We can look for volunteer counsellors and therapists to guide us through our money anxiety without paying anything!! 😉

It’s completely normal to have anxiety around finances so remember there’s no shame in it! Reach out for help from a friend if you need to: we’re all in this TOGETHER!!! 💪

I’m gonna head over and check my savings now, so I can maybeee plan a trip??? Who knows? 🤷‍♀️ See y’all later loves! 🥰🥰

Post by
Rushika Shirish