Are you overwhelmed by your finances? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Capital One, more than three in four Americans—a whopping 77 percent!—feel anxious about their financial situation, particularly when it comes to saving enough for retirement, keeping up with the cost of living, and managing debt levels.
These kinds of financial stressors impact people in varying ways, but many Americans say these feelings consistently impact their day-to-day lives, interrupting sleep, making it hard to concentrate at work, and contributing to overall fatigue and burnout. This kind of stress is also linked to worse financial attitudes and practices. In fact, Americans who experience higher levels of stress are less likely to save on a regular basis, less likely to plan their spending, less likely to feel in control, more impulsive with how they spend their paycheck, and less likely to agree that success comes to those who work hard.
The good news: You don’t have to live with the anxiety that can send your finances spiraling even further. A simple attitude shift can make a huge difference. We like to call it your money mindset.
When it comes to your money mindset, you’re in control of the narrative. When you have a positive money mindset, you’re more likely to feel confident, energized, and in control. Likewise, those who manifest a positive money mindset are more likely to make sound financial moves.
Ready to improve your own mindset? Here’s how to get started:
1. Believe in Yourself
When you’re struggling financially, it may feel like you’re stuck in a rut you’ll never emerge from. But no matter how much debt you accumulate, remember: there’s always a way out. Though you may not be able to change your financial situation overnight, the right moves will take you one step closer to realizing your goal.
Trust yourself and the process. Take a hard look at your overall financial picture, set goals, and if you need to, start every day with a personal mantra, like “I can do this” or “I will be debt-free.”
2. Consider Your Values
What motivates you? Find your why—what’s the reason behind your biggest money goal? Why do you want to save or become debt-free? Is it to buy a house? To provide a better life for your kids? When you know what drives you, it’s easier to work towards your goals.
3. Envision Your Ideal Future
Likewise, consider what you want most in life. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years? Do you want to purchase a home or send your kids to college without loans? Or maybe you’ve always dreamt of owning your own business? Huge milestone moments like these are big ticket items that typically require careful planning. When you know exactly what you need to do to get yourself to a place where you can realize these goals, you’ll be better equipped to make those ideals a reality.
4. Face Your Fears
Fear has the power to stop you in your tracks. And when it comes to money, common fears include fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of change. It’s easier to coast through than face these fears, but when you face your anxieties head on, you open yourself up to possibility.
If you feel paralyzed by your own financial fears, make it a point to take small, manageable steps toward your goal. For example, if your goal is to save for a house, open a separate savings account and set up a direct deposit of even just $25 per month.
5.Check in With Yourself Regularly
At least once per quarter, set a formal check-in date. Where are you on the path toward your goals? Use your self check-in as a deadline of sorts. Celebrate any progress and reevaluate your plan if you’ve experienced any setbacks. And don’t forget: Celebrating your wins is just as important as making necessary adjustments.