If you are anxious these days about the economy, you are not alone. A recent poll by the American Psychological Association found that 8 out of 10 people say the economy is a significant cause of stress, up from 66 percent in April.
Women are also most likely to report stress related to the economic climate. Compared with men, more women say they are stressed about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent).
Generation Xers (ages 30 to 43) and Millennials (ages 18 to 29) are not immune from today’s economic woes either. Generation Xers are the women most concerned about money (89 percent report money as a source of stress) and Millennials are most concerned about housing costs (75 percent report housing costs as a source of stress).
With headlines declaring that the economy is getting worse each day, it can be hard not to get stressed out about how this will affect your personal finances. Fortunately, there are strategies you can utilize to quickly help manage anxiety during this economic crisis. Here are five simple methods:
1. Do a reality check by making a budget . This is the number one thing you can do to decrease financial anxiety. By making a budget, you will become aware of where you are spending money, how much you owe, and where you may need to cut back. Not knowing where your money is going can cause you a great deal of unnecessary stress, so get organized and create a budget. Here is an easy tool to help you get started.
2. Don’t stress about what you can’t control. Just as you can’t control if the weather is going to be bad tomorrow, you can’t control whether the $700 billion bailout package is going to improve the economy. What you can control, however, is your own finances, which will help improve your self-efficacy and reduce stress. So stop thinking about things you can’t control and focus on the things you can.