How to Stop Worrying About Money: 7-Step Guide [2021]

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the millennial money woman blog post "how to stop worrying about money"

Take a moment and imagine a world where you don’t stress or worry about money.

How would that world look like to you?

Would you have:

  • Peaceful days
  • Restful nights
  • Long vacations

If you are worried about money and want to finally go to bed without thinking about how to pay your next bill, then keep reading this blog post. 

Remember, you are not alone if you are stressed about money.

americans stressed about money statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Source: APA

In this blog post, I will teach you how to:

  • Build a foolproof plan
  • Stick to your plan
  • Win

But let me tell you that life really is about perspective.

“I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet” – Helen Keller

I think this quote from Helen Keller perfectly captures the essence of perspective. 

Sometimes, you have to take a step back to see the bigger picture – the bigger picture that you are, in fact, in a good position compared to others. 

If you can:

  • Pay rent
  • Pay for food
  • Pay for the lights

…Then consider yourself blessed. 

If you are ready to take action and stop worrying about money, then read my all-inclusive guide below.

How to Stop Worrying About Money


Let’s take a quick peek at the 7 steps on how to stop worrying about money:

  1. Develop a Plan of Action
  2. Eliminate High-Interest Debt
  3. Save for Emergencies
  4. Make More Money
  5. Invest the Rest
  6. Educate Yourself
  7. Seek High-Quality Mentors

It is 100% possible to stop worrying about money starting today.

Follow my step-by-step guide below.

Let’s get started!

1. Develop a Plan of Action


To be successful with anything – from your business to your budget – you have to start with a plan. 

Think about a plan in terms of a road map: If you don’t know the road, you can’t go from Point A to Point B without a map.

Your plan is your map. 

And when you have a map you eliminate the uncertainty.

When you eliminate uncertainty, you stop worrying about money.

Your plan should include some of these action points:

These points may sound super overwhelming – especially if you don’t feel comfortable talking about money matters – and that’s perfectly OK. 

That’s why your plan should include these overarching goals, but we are going to tackle each goal in stages.

"The reason why a plan is so powerful is because you realize you have total control over your money."

When you have control, you can make positive changes. 

In this step, we are going to tackle:

First, let’s take a look at the definition of a budget.

Budgets, aka spending plans, are very helpful because you get a better sense of how your money is actually being spent.

Now let’s take a look at the definition of a net worth statement.

If you’re serious about figuring out how to improve your current financial picture, then you should highly consider looking into Quicken.

Quicken is a budgeting and a net worth software program that is designed to help people gain some insight into their financial situation. 

Beware: Quicken is for those who are serious about setting up a plan of action. 

If that’s you, then keep reading.

Below are a few neat stats about Quicken and why I recommend it:

Quicken

Main Functions

  • Budgeting
  • Reducing debts
  • Managing investments 
  • Tracking your net worth

Available on

  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Mobile App (limited features)

Cost

  • Mac - $34.99 to $74.99 per year
  • PC - $34.99 to $99.99 per year

Free Customer Service Support

Monday to Friday, 5am to 5pm PT

Quicken is certainly one of the most well-known and comprehensive personal finance software programs available. 

There are a few things that I would like to point out regarding Quicken:

  • The customer service program hasn’t had the best reviews
  • Quicken for Mac is a great choice, but may offer you a few less features than Quicken for Windows (which is why Quicken for Mac is less expensive)

If you are committed to improving your financial health to stop worrying about money, your first step is to gather clarity over your situation by creating a plan.

2. Eliminate High-Interest Debt


Now that you have your plan of action in place, you should know whether you carry debt. 

Now, there are 2 types of debts:

  • Bad debt
  • Smart debt

Here’s the difference:

smart debt vs bad debt comparison

If you carry smart debt, then move on to Step #3

If you carry bad debt, keep reading because I’m going to teach you how to eliminate your credit card debt and other garbage, high-interest debt.

Below are some basic steps on how to get out of debt:

Steps Description

Pay off the highest interest debt first

Sort your bad debt in order of interest rate.

To maximize your savings, focus your efforts on paying off the highest interest rate debt first – while still making minimum payments on the other debts.

Pay off the next highest interest debt… and so on

Once the highest interest rate debt is paid off, start paying as much as you can toward the next highest interest debt.

Pay more than the minimum – much more

To make a dent in your high-interest debt, make sure you pay much, much more than the minimum payment.

If you can, pay 4x (or more!) the minimum required payment.

Consider Debt Consolidation

Consolidate your high-interest debt with platforms like LendingTree.

Of course, it’s much easier said than done to pay off your high-interest debt (like credit card debt).

That’s why I suggest looking into debt consolidation – which is a strategy that particularly works if credit card debt is involved.

Let’s take a look at how debt consolidation works.

how debt consolidation works infographic

As you can see, debt consolidation could be a beneficial tool you could use to save money, save time and save yourself from worrying about money.

To take matters 1 step further, below are some questions you may want to ask yourself to determine whether debt consolidation is the best next move for you:

  • Do you control your spending but never pay off your debt?
  • Do you have enough money left over to make your debt payments?
  • Do you miss your debt payments or have trouble making on-time payments?
  • Do you want to commit to a long-term debt pay-off plan to eliminate your debt?

By far, one of the best debt consolidation solutions is LendingTree.

LendingTree is like a matchmaker that connects you (based on your personal situation) to the best lenders available.

Over the past 20 years, LendingTree has survived the brutal lending business with minimal complaints and offers you a wide selection with the best possible deals for your choice.

3. Save for Emergencies


If my husband and I checked our bank accounts and saw $100 or worse yet, $0 **gasp,** yes we would start worrying about money. Like a lot. 

And that’s why I think saving for emergencies should be placed very high on your plan of action list. 

Specifically, focus your efforts on building your emergency savings fund.

Here’s why an emergency savings fund is so beneficial:

emergency savings fund short mid and long term benefits

As you can see, an emergency savings fund can hold you through the rough spots – without having to go into serious debt.

A high-yield savings account is just like any other savings account – except the interest rate on a high yield savings account is… higher!

And one of the competitive players with high-interest rates is Axos Bank.

Below are some quick stats about Axos Bank:

  • $0 maintenance fees
  • Competitive interest rate
  • No monthly minimum balance requirements
  • $250 minimum balance to open a new account

Since the current economic conditions haven’t been optimal, don’t expect a high-interest rate (at least as of March, 2021), even for high-yield savings accounts.

The important thing is that you research your options today.

4. Make More Money 


A common reason why people start worrying about money (myself and my husband included), is the fact that there is not enough money. 

I’m going to show you how you can make money.

Here are 2 categories I would use:

  • Make a little today
  • Make a lot tomorrow

Take a look at some of the extra ways you can boost your income starting today.

Make a Little Today Make a lot Tomorrow

Online Surveys with:

- ySense

Starting an online business with:

- HostGator

Cashback with:

-
Ibotta

Learn Affiliate Marketing with:

- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Sitting dogs with:

- Rover

Monetizing your Social Media Account with:

-
Create 24/7

Delivering food with:

-
DoorDash

Creating and selling your own course with:

-
Teachable

Sell your old stuff with:

-
Decluttr

Micro investing with:

-
Acorns

If your priority is to make money today – no matter the amount – you can do that with the apps I listed above.

It’s not much, but it’s something.

Keep in mind that even if you earn just $1 a day, that’s $7 extra dollars every week, or $28 extra every month… and about $365 extra by the end of the year.

A little money can go a long way if you look into the future.

On the other hand, if you want to make $10,000’s per month or more, one day in the future, your best bet is to check out the column “Make a lot Tomorrow.”

Trust me, with an online business you may not see income for months (if not years). 

But one day, it will click and you will be thankful you stayed with it for so long.

You can earn extra money now.

Just start.

5. Invest the Rest 


If you already have:

  • Paid off your debt
  • Funded your emergency account

…Then it’s time to invest your spare cash.

I like to think of investing as the key to building and maintaining long-term wealth. 

You don’t need $100’s or $1,000’s to start investing. 

In fact, you can start your investing journey with as little as $5 through micro-investing apps like Acorns.

Acorns gives everyone an equal chance to participate in the investing game. 

Below are some cool stats:

  • Automatic investing
  • $0 account minimum
  • $1 to $5 per month fees

Now keep in mind that Acorns is designed for the small-time investor, so you won’t have a large number of investment portfolios or individual stocks to choose from. 

However, if you continue to invest using a dollar cost averaging strategy, where you invest money consistently and over the long term, you could actually make some money.

Check out the chart below to show you how you can become a multi-millionaire by age 65 if you invest consistently for 40 years:

How to be a Multi-Millionaire by 65 graph

Below are some of the inputs and that I used to come up with the graph above.

Input Output

Starting Age

25 Years

Investment Timeframe

40 Years

Portfolio Starting Value

$0

Projected Return on Investment

7%

Investment Frequency

Bi-Weekly

Investment Amount

$607

Projected Ending Portfolio Value

$3,000,452

I know not everyone can afford to invest $607 every 2 weeks – and that’s perfectly OK.

Even if you can “only” invest $100 every 2 weeks, you are still on your path to a successful future.

So what if you’re an investor who can afford to invest $100 every 1 to 2 weeks?

If that’s the case, then you should consider M1 Finance.

M1 Finance is an app that has more flexibility and investment options than Acorns. 

Check out some cool stats about M1 Finance:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 commissions
  • $0 minimum investment
  • $100 minimum needed to open account

Keep in mind that M1 Finance is not a good app for day traders (so if you like to buy and sell on a daily basis, steer clear of M1 Finance). 

Although you do have an option to invest in low-cost ETFs, you won’t be able to invest in mutual funds. 

I tried opening both an Acorns and M1 Finance account on my phone to see how long the process would take me and here’s what I found:

  • You need 5 to 15 minutes to open an account

…And you’ll be ready to invest.

If you’re ready to invest, make sure to keep these 3 things in mind:

  • Invest consistently
  • Invest automatically
  • Invest for the long term

Assuming you don’t withdraw any funds from your investment account for a long, long time (we’re talking decades down the road), you are going to have a lot more money in your investment account than what you started with.

Recommended Reading: The Power of Compound Interest

6. Educate Yourself


The highest ROI is when you invest in yourself. 

Keep in mind that the average American adult has a very low financial literacy rate.

america financial literacy rank statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Source: S&P Global FinLit Survey

That’s kudos to Botswana, but not so good for Americans. 

There are so many benefits associated with increasing your understanding of financial literacy, such as:

  • You stop worrying about money
  • You increase your chances of retirement
  • You improve your ability to handle money
  • You are better prepared for financial emergencies

And the great news is that you don’t have to spend $100’s or $1,000’s on a formal education to better understand personal finance. 

There is so much free information around you to start your self-education journey, including:

  • My Blog ☺
  • YouTube
  • Library books
  • Community resources
  • Free online college lectures
  • Online finance journals (like Forbes)

All you have to do is open your eyes and start seizing your learning opportunities. 

Remember that knowledge is power.

Related: 10 personal finance tips

7. Seek High-Quality Mentors


The last step to help you stop worrying about money is to seek out high-quality mentors.

I want you to take a moment and think about the 5 closest people you hang out with:

  • What do they do?
  • How do they act?
  • What is their personality?

Soon enough, you’ll find that:

  • You have similar goals
  • You do the same things
  • You think the same thoughts

So if you want to be successful – whatever success means to you – then it’s important that you hang out with like-minded people.

self made millionaire mentors statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Source: Great Performers Academy

A quality mentor can be found in virtually anyone that you trust. 

Some examples could include:

  • Your professor
  • A trusted friend
  • A business leader
  • Your community leader

Remember, you are never alone in this world, and sometimes you just have to remember to ask for help – and that’s OK!

Now, if you can’t think of any high-quality mentor in your life at the moment, I have another solution for you and that’s called Mindvalley.

Mindvalley is a website that is filled with some of the best courses that you wish you had in high school and college.

Below are some cool things you can learn with Mindvalley:

  • How to achieve your goals
  • How to grow your influence
  • How to increase productivity
  • How to manifest your dreams
  • How to grow resilience against stress

This is the classroom beyond the classroom – and the mentors that coach these courses are some of the brightest minds in the world. 

How Worrying About Money Impacts You 


Now that I helped you understand my 7 steps to stop worrying about money, let’s take a look at how worrying about money impacts you – and it’s not pretty.

How Worrying About Money Impacts You

As you read through this list of how worrying about money can negatively impact you mentally, emotionally, physically and financially – you will understand why it is so important to start now with a plan of action (see my Step 1).

1. Worrying About Money Causes Exhaustion


When you are worrying about money and the many negative consequences, you typically focus less on the positive and productive things in life. 

Negative energy is draining. 

Worrying isn’t productive – it gets you nowhere.

So instead of worrying about the negative outcomes of not having enough money, start doing what needs to be done to conquer your fears and concerns and move you on the right path. 

This is why you need to start with a plan of action.

2. Worrying About Money Causes Brain Fog


Have you ever gone to work and felt like you couldn’t think straight?

I sure have. 

It’s not fun trying to think clearly and be productive while your brain is cloudy and not working properly. 

Brain fog can:

  • Decrease productivity
  • Make your day feel dull
  • Make everything feel distant

If you feel like you’re a victim of brain fog, take a quick walk, drink some crystal clear water and sit down to think about your plan of action.

3. Worrying About Money Causes No Enjoyment


When you are constantly worrying about money, you’ll find that you lack:

  • Energy
  • Happiness
  • Enjoyment
  • Connection

Worrying about money will eat away at every little pleasure of life – and that is 100% not how you should live. 

Here’s how I think about money worries: If you sit down today and start drafting your plan of action, then today is your lowest day. 

Tomorrow and the days after will be better because you are moving 1 step closer to your goal to stop worrying about money.

The point is you have to start a plan of action today.

4. Worrying About Money Is a Time Waster


Worrying accomplishes nothing other than wasting your precious time.

We all have 24 hours on this Earth.

Use your time wisely.

Instead of worrying about money, you could:

  • Pay off your debt
  • Build a side hustle
  • Create a plan of action
  • Learn more about money
  • Find a high-quality mentor

There are so many positive and productive things you could be doing with your time other than worrying. 

Remember that 85 percent of our worries never actually happen.

Stop wasting time and start creating a plan of action.

5. Worrying About Money Causes Physical Health Suffering


Did you know that when I worry about something long enough (I’m thinking back when I barely could make rent payments or couldn’t pay for my weekly groceries), I physically get sick?

Here are some physical health symptoms that could happen when worry too much:

  • Ulcers
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Heat flashes
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleepless nights
  • High blood pressure

Please do not allow your money worries to impact your health. 

That’s why I keep referring back to the plan of action – when you start making a plan for yourself, you will feel better. Trust me. 

6. Worrying About Money Causes Mental Health Suffering


When you start worrying about money, you are spending your mental energy. 

When you worry, you could experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Your mental health is extremely important – and if you don’t take care of your financial worries, you may start to see how your worries are negatively impacting your mental health. 

The good news is that you can always reverse your mental health symptoms. 

7. Worrying About Money Strains Relationships


When you are stressed about money, your loved ones will likely feel your stress too. 

Money worries cause tension – which could damage your relationships.

gen x divorce statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Source: MarketWatch

It’s not surprising that money worries can cause emotions to fly high and cause you – or a loved one – to say something that they may later regret.

Instead of risking your relationships – be it a spouse or a close family friend – you can do yourself (and them) a favor and start a money management plan today.

Trust me, you will thank yourself later.

FAQs

 

How do I stop feeling anxious about money?


Worrying about money can be stressful, energy-draining and could place a serious drain on your close relationships. 

The first step to stop worrying about money is to build a solid plan that can help you understand where you are currently and where you need to be in the future.

Some of these steps would include:

  • Creating a net worth statement
  • Creating an emergency fund
  • Creating a budget

What’s even more important than a plan is to simply start working toward your goals today. 

Don’t hold off until tomorrow.

How do I stop thinking about money all the time?


One way to stop thinking and stop worrying about money all the time is to look at your situation from a different perspective. Take a step back. 

Consider the things you do have:

  • Food?
  • A car?
  • A computer?
  • Access to wifi?
  • A roof over your head?

Even if you have less than 50% of the items on this list, you are in good shape. 

Be thankful for what you have and be happy with your current possessions, because you don’t always need to have the latest and greatest gadgets.

"If you want to feel rich, just think about the things money can’t buy you."

When I think about my family, my husband, my health, I stop worrying about money right away.

Why do I worry so much about money?


One reason why you may worry so much about money is because you have a lot of uncertainty about money.

In other words, you may worry about money because your financial situation is:

  • Unclear about the stability of your income
  • Unclear about the amount of your income
  • Unclear about your upcoming expenses
  • Unclear about growing your money

Uncertainty can make us anxious, queasy and stressed.

So to eliminate your uncertainty, start with a solid plan.

How much do I need to stop worrying about money?


There is no magic number to stop worrying about money, because you will always worry about it – even if you have more money.

Have you ever heard of the saying:

“More money, more problems”

Sure, if you have more money, you may not worry about making the next rent payment, but with more money, you will have other problems. 

Below are a few:

  • How to divide your estate upon your death
  • How to leave a lasting legacy for your kids
  • How to teach your kids about money
  • Dealing with financial advisors
  • Dealing with lifestyle creep
  • Dealing with “fake friends”
  • Dealing with high taxes
  • Dealing with creditors

No matter the amount of money you have, you will always be worried in one way or another.

Closing Thoughts: How to Stop Worrying About Money


If you are worrying about money, there are 3 things you need to do now:

  • Read this blog post
  • Start a plan 
  • Start now

Remember, most people are anxious and are worrying about money because of their financial uncertainty. 

Inform yourself about money, understand money and implement your money plan today.

So to help you start implementing your action steps, I recapped my 7-step guide to help you stop worrying about money today:

Step Strategy

Make a Plan

  • Start a budget with platforms like Quicken
  • Build your net worth statement

Pay off Debt

  • Pay off high-interest debt with platforms like LendingTree

Save for Emergencies

  • Build an emergency savings fund in a high-yield interest account like with Axos Bank

Make More Money

  • Increase your income with side hustles like by starting an online business with HostGator.

Invest the Rest

  • Invest any spare cash (after paying off debts and building an emergency fund) with Acorns

Educate Yourself

You are only as good as your financial education, so keep reading and learning from personal finance blogs like mine

Seek High-Quality Mentors

  • If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best
  • If you don’t have an in-person mentor, then learn from the highly effective success courses offered through Mindvalley

Remember that you are only as good as your actions, so going through these steps, nodding your head “yes” and not doing anything about your money worries is not going to make things better. 

Since the first step (getting started) is typically the most difficult step, I would suggest you consider doing the following:

  • Schedule 30 minutes on a weekend and sit down to review your finances
  • Start thinking about the steps that you can take to stop worrying about money
  • Physically write down some of your ideas for your next steps

I find that ideas are only as good as the paper they are written on.

"Ink never fades."

That’s why it’s so important to write down your future action plan – and actually commit to it, too. 

Let’s go!

Your bank accounts will thank me later. 

What is your first action step to stop worrying about money?

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Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith
The Millennial Money Woman was founded by Fiona Smith. She holds her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning and has co-founded a local non-profit community teaching financial literacy to young professionals.

2 thoughts on “How to Stop Worrying About Money: 7-Step Guide [2021]”

  1. Money is one of those things that we wish we didn’t have to worry about but we have to worry about just because of how important it is. Great steps on how to get out of financial anxiety. It’s really not a great feeling when you have to make a choice between buying clothes for your sibling or buying food for yourself.

    It’s time for every American to get themselves out of that position.

    1. Hi David,

      You’re spot on when you say that it is time for everyone to get themselves out of a position of anxiety and fear when it comes to money. I know so many people who literally stay up at night because they are worried about their money matters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Cheers,

      Fiona

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