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Stuff happens to everyone. That can often result in financial anxiety. It is how you deal with it that will make the difference as to how quickly you recover, says Lynda Moore

Personal Finance / opinion
Stuff happens to everyone. That can often result in financial anxiety. It is how you deal with it that will make the difference as to how quickly you recover, says Lynda Moore
financial anxiety

Financial Anxiety affects us all at some time or other, some stress is healthy, but I am talking to a number of people who have gone past the healthy level and the anxiety is having debilitating effects on them, their businesses and their families.  Financial Anxiety is that feeling you get when you wake up at 3am and the stomach is churning, and the worry kicks in about your finances and your future.

It could be you have lost your job, or you are worried about losing it.  Your business is struggling, and you just don’t know where to start to try and fix it.  You are stressed to the max and life just doesn’t have that rosy glow right now.  What are you going to do?

As with any type of anxiety, when we are feeling Financial Anxiety, we go into either Fight, Flight or Freeze mode, so “Keep Calm and Carry on”, is much easier said than done, especially when there are bills to pay and mouths to feed.

When we are feeling anxious, our focus narrows and it becomes harder to make decisions, it’s almost as if we have blinkers on and we can’t see options that may be right in front of our nose.

In each of these modes, we behave differently.  For example, if we are in fight mode, we want to attack, do something but feel stuck about what to do so that makes us angry and we can end up blaming others for our financial woes.

If you are in freeze mode, you’ll become compliant, if someone says, try this, you probably will as emotionally you are shut down and its just too hard to make decisions for yourself, this can lead to justifying and rationalizing and a loss of sense of control.

You can see how this can play out in relationships (both business and personal), you and your partner may be responding to the anxiety in different ways, which makes functioning effectively even harder and can cause more stress as the relationship starts to struggle as well.

It can become a downward spiral.

The state we want to get into is Face.  This is the state that enables us to take action to defend ourselves as we are feeling more connected (to ourselves and our partners), we can start to see ways to maintain or improve our situation instead of going backwards. The blinkers begin to disappear, and we can see options and possibilities again.  We are getting back to a healthy state.  

Here are just a few do’s and don’ts to help you Keep Calm and Carry On in times of crisis so you can start to move towards Facing your financial fears.

  1. Don’t do nothing. Burying your head in the sand and vainly hoping everything will be OK is not an option.
  2. Do a financial inventory. What do I own, what do I owe.  What can I do without, in other words sell?  What conversations do you need to have with banks, credit card companies, landlords and any other people you owe money to, to get payment plans in place
  3. Do tell your partner and immediate family. Yes, you may feel a failure.  But getting it out in the open and sharing with those closest to you will give you the support and understanding you need. Don’t forget your children, you don’t need to tell them all the details, but they need to know that your finances are going to be tight for a little while so they can do their bit to help.
  4. Do a budget. How much money do I need each week….. Note I said need not want, if you had to cut everything back to the bare bones what do you need to meet level one of Maslow’s hierarchy needs?
  5. Don’t beat yourself up, blame yourself or wallow in self-pity. OK, maybe just for 10 minutes.  It is important to take responsibility and get into action as quickly as possible.
  6. Do not continue as if nothing has changed. The change in your circumstances may only be a few weeks or it may be a few months.  So carrying on as if you still have the same level of income will only get you deeper into the mire.
  7. Do seek advice. If your business is in trouble, find a mentor.  If you have lost your job, find an HR recruiter.  If you don’t know how to do a budget, find a budget adviser.  If you need a shoulder to cry on, talk to your partner your best friend.

Stuff happens to everyone.  It is how you deal with it that will make the difference as to how quickly you recover.

Make a conscious choice not to bury your head in the sand.  Do everything you can to get your life back on track, and of course, keep calm and carry on!

*Lynda Moore is a Money Mentalist coach and New Zealand’s only certified New Money Story® mentor. Lynda helps you understand why you do the things you do with your money, when we all know we should spend less than we earn. You can contact her here.

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It is how you deal with it that will make the difference

Thank you for putting personal responsibility ahead of blaming. (Blaming the circumstances, the government, others the past erc...)


Not sure I agree Dr. Y. People should know how they're being shafted by the ruling elite and how their interests are secondary to the interests of the ruling elite.

It's not so much their personal responsibility as much as their desire to protect themselves accordingly.  

And the reality is that generally speaking financial advisors are working in their own interests, so you need to account for this when digesting their wisdom.  


You're saying that if people end up in financial trouble, it's not their fault, it's someone else's? Correct? 

Who are the 'ruling elite'? 


Who are the 'ruling elite'? 

The ruling elite comprises those people who get to shape political / monetary / commercial policy and benefit most from it. They are typically closest to the monetary spigot - at the front of the queue for those benefitting from the Cantillon Effect.  



For anyone under cashflow stress, remember to look after your mental health. Seek help where necessary.


Health first... its the foundation you stand on...Go for walks...socialise and stay positive. Stress can be a killer, avoid it like the plague...better to be deluded and happy than miserable and depressed ... Do what you can to keep the wolf away but do so with dignity ...remember always if you have health ...time is on your side...remember the mistakes so you dont make them again...Success is born from failure dont beat yourself up as often we can be our own worst enemy ...  Merry Christmas everyone.... Happy New Year...enjoy the holiday..