Feeling depressed about money isn’t an entirely unusual thing for most people. At some point in our lives, we will all feel stressed out, upset, or generally depressed about money. No matter how much we like to say that we aren’t we are all materialistic creatures, with a constant need and want for more. Not to mention, money comes in handy for all of those frivolous activities, like paying bills and eating.
Even super frugal people can be affected by financial depression and anxiety. For me, feeling depressed about money usually happens right around the holidays—like, now.
My family has been going through a particularly rough patch this past year, and even before the holidays money was tight. Now, with the vast majority of my Christmas shopping behind me, I am once again feeling depressed about money. Some of my worries about money probably echo most people’s…
“Did I spend too much?”
“Can I afford the last few gifts on my list?”
” Did I get myself into too much debt?”
” Will we have enough money to pay that bill?”
Ugh! The holidays can be a stressful time! I know I’m not the only one feeling depressed about money right about now either. Dwindling bank accounts and rising credit card bills around the holidays are downright terrifying t times.
You don’t have to feel completely helpless and hopeless, though. Here are a few tips to hel you cope with feeling depressed about money.
Don’t Hide From Your Finances
When you’re feeling depressed about money, the worst thing you can do is hide from your financial problems. This means don’t avoid looking at your bank and credit card statements, and don’t avoid talking with bill collectors. Avoiding your problems will only make them worse. If you’re having problems paying your bills, ask your creditors if there’s any way they may be able to help you.
Figure Out Where You Stand Financially
Again, don’t hide from your finances. This is a hard but essential step when you’re depressed about money. Figure out exactly how much money you have coming into the household, as well as exactly how much you need to pay out. Once you know where you stand, you’ll be able to figure out what to do next. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you’re better off financially than you thought you were. If you’re struggling financially, however, this step will also give you a clear picture and a starting point for getting back on the right track.
Stop Trying to Keep Up With the Jones’
Or the Smiths, or the Johnson’s, or whoever your Jones’ happen to be. You don’t have to announce to the world that you’re worried or depressed about money, but you also don’t have to spend money you don’t have. If your peers are heading out to drinks or dinner every other night, politely decline or offer to host a small get together at your own home.
If you’re struggling to pay bills or just simply don’t have enough money, you’ll need to figure out how to free up a little extra money. Nix unnecessary expenses, like dining out and gym memberships. Call your phone service providers too see if there’s anything you can do to lower your bills, and look for free family activities in your area. You can also work toward being a more mindful shopper and save a boatload of money on household expenses and groceries by shopping sales and using coupons.
Make More Money
When you’re depressed about money, sometimes a little extra income can give you peace of mind. Consider looking for a part-time job or picking up odd jobs or babysitting during your free time. If you’re in a partnership where one of you works and the other stays home, it may be time to make your one-income household into a two-income household.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help
Whether you need emotional support or financial help, don’t be afraid to ask. Feeling depressed about money can be extremely emotionally draining, and talking to a trusted friend can be helpful. Also, don’t feel ashamed about asking for financial assistance; everyone needs a little help from time to time. Utility companies, for instance, often offer assistance programs for individuals having financial problems. You might also qualify for government assistance programs, like food stamps.
Accentuate the Positive
Being depressed about money is the pits. But, you don’t have to let your financial rule your entire life. This would be a good time to take inventory of all that you do have to be grateful about. A positive attitude can do wonders!