How to Tame Financial Anxiety

Key Takeaways 

  • A recent Northwestern Mutual study found that 28% of Millennials have financial anxiety that affects their job performance; twice that of the rest of the population.
  • If you know you have money in the bank, you can give yourself peace of mind to know you can handle something if it comes up.
  • If you don’t currently have money saved up somewhere, start now by saving a certain amount of money you determine every month, in an account that you do not touch.

My first mentor when I started off in the financial industry was a gentleman named Ed. He told me the story of when he started his first job in 1953, and his immediate supervisor on his very first day, took him to the bank and let him borrow $5,000 from him. He had Ed put the $5,000 in a savings deposit account, and Ed was confused. He said, “Why would you do this for me?” Ed’s supervisor told him, “Because Ed, you have to be at the top of your game every single day, you have to have the confidence necessary to do well at your job, and if you know there is always $5,000 in the bank, you aren’t going to be worried about anything.” That kind of mindset is huge, and I have never forgotten that when I deal with anyone who has any kind of financial anxiety.

There was a recent study done by Northwestern Mutual that found 28% of Millennials have financial anxiety that’s actually affecting their job performance, and that number is twice the regular population. That’s huge! The study pointed to factors such as job loss, savings, income, and others as being culprits in this high anxiety percentage, but I’d like to go to the roots of this. If you know there is money sitting in the bank, and then perhaps you lost your job, your income went down, or some other unexpected, expensive thing happened, it would get rid of a lot of anxiety in a lot of areas. So what do you do?

If you don’t have someone like Ed had, to loan you $5,000 or whatever number makes you feel comfortable, then you really have to focus on putting yourself on a program over the next year or two that will help you build in that comfort level. You want to do something where you are setting aside a certain amount of money every month, in to a savings account that you do not touch, that becomes your safety blanket. Ultimately, you don’t want to let financial anxiety run your life and make you miserable as it affects everything and everyone you interact with.

This financial anxiety isn’t necessarily new, it happens to every generation. Being that Millennials are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money in the bank, that’s probably why they have twice the financial anxiety as the rest of the population right now. So if you are in a situation where you are feeling particularly anxious about your financial stability, put some money away in the bank, build that comfortable buffer to help you with peace of mind. You will be looking at the glass half full and not half empty.

Until next time, enjoy!

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