I think we’ve all been there at one point or another (sometimes more than once in the same month) where we’re afraid to check our account balances, worried we’re in the red or worried that we can’t pay a bill that’s due or overdue. The feeling of not having enough money to cover your necessities is super stressful. Sometimes the anxiety persists even after we have enough and we’re back in the black. I would say for me, there is one week every month where I experience some definite money anxiety.

This is the week before my husband’s second paycheck of the month because the mortgage and larger bills come out at the beginning of the month. So though we can try to make more money or play the lottery (not my personal preference) here are some tips to combat money insecurity.

1. Don’t Make Money Your God – Ok, before the non-religious folks out there light their torches and come after me, I’ll explain what I mean. The way the world works we’ve all been taught that money makes the world go ’round. But when we make money the God in our lives we give it authority over us that it shouldn’t have. It keeps us up at night, it dangles pretty objects in front of us, it tempts us, drives us and distracts us from what’s really important. If you haven’t read my earlier post yet, I encourage you to read The Problems That Money Can Solve. Do money problems suck? YES. Should you give yourself an ulcer about it? NO. Money comes and it goes. You can try to be responsible with it and learn from your financial mistakes, but money CAN’T buy you happiness or peace.

2. Don’t Live In Denial – It may be a nice place to visit, but trust me on this one, it’s a terrible place to live. Denial is like locking yourself in zoo, sure the habitat looks like nature, smells familiar, but ultimately at some point you have to see the bars and the concrete and face the reality that you’re not free. If you’re in debt you know what I mean. You can pretend you don’t owe, but you will never feel free until you first check your account balances and make a plan of escape. Once you have a budget and a debt payoff plan in place you’ll start to see denial for what it is, something temporary and fake. If you are struggling to pay a bill, call the company and see if they’ll work with you to reduce your payment, set up a payment plan or help you figure out how to cut features or options that are making your bill higher than you can comfortably afford. Also be honest with yourself and recognize those spending habits that are making you broke and vow to make a change. Even baby steps forward get you there eventually.

3. Give It Away – Ok, this probably sounds pretty incredible that I would even suggest this as a way to combat insecurity about not having enough money. But when we give money away to a charity, our church or just another person who is truly in need we are reminding ourselves that no matter what financial trouble we’re facing, there is ALWAYS someone struggling more than us. While the world would have us always looking ahead at those with more material wealth, charitable giving reminds us to look back and see where we could be and to have compassion for others. Even if it’s only a dollar, giving money away can create immeasurable gratitude in your life.

There are some real steps you can take to make sure you’re not struggling between paychecks. Stash some money in a savings account linked to your checking so you can easily transfer funds from your savings into your checking till your next paycheck comes in. Don’t forget to pay yourself (via your savings account) back, but at least you won’t pack on the debt or charge yourself interest. It’s also great to have a separate emergency fund that is harder to access. Mine is at a completely separate bank than the one I use for my primary household expenses. I know it’s there if I truly need it, but since it’s off my radar I’ve left it mostly untouched.

If even one person finds this remotely helpful in alleviating their anxiety, then I’ll count myself blessed to have been able to help.  Thanks for reading!