Money worries feel like they control your whole life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learn four steps that can change everything.
The cart was nearly full as I turned down the last aisle at the grocery store. I eyeballed the foods I had selected to feed our family. Money worries were always on my mind, and food was always carefully chosen to keep our budget down. But prices had been rising steadily for months. In fact, the cost of food seemed higher this trip than they were just a week ago.
Gas prices were through the roof and everyone I knew was struggling in one way or another. There was a recession. Plus I had just quit my job, lowering our income just as our third child was born. The timing wasn’t perfect.
As I pushed the cart along, I couldn’t help but wonder if the cost of food would continue to climb until we’d find ourselves unable to feed our small family. A terrible feeling washed over me, and I frantically dug through my purse, looking for my phone. As I called my sister, I knew I was having a heart attack.
If you’re familiar with that feeling, you probably have already figured out that it was actually a panic attack. (Try convincing someone who has never experienced it before… and they’re trying to function in a grocery store full of people!)
Once I had calmed down and talked it over, I began to feel better. But only because being a mother was too important to let this worry control my whole life. The truth was, I was still scared about how we would keep going in a world where so many things are not under our control.
I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Chances are good that you’ve had these times in your life, too. And you and I are far from alone. So let’s look at some things you can do when you feel like life is just hard and you’re worried about money.
How to Stop Worrying About Money All the Time
Do the Hard Thing
Are you struggling because you have a spending problem? Sometimes it’s too many lattes, sure. But other times it’s because you’re making monthly payments on a car or truck that’s becoming more of a burden than a benefit.
If you can fix your money mistakes by moving or selling a car, do it. It’s a big hoop to jump through, but so worth it if it ends your worries.
But if you’re already the queen of frugal, this advice just isn’t going to help. You may need to…
Bring In More…Or Not
You might be in a season of life that makes that hard or even impossible. If you’re caring for a baby or an elderly relative, you probably don’t have the time or energy to take on more work. You need to know that this is a season of life, not your entire life. Sometimes we just have to tread water the best we can until we find our footing again.
See the Good
Sometimes we feel like our entire lives are wrapped up in whatever money situation we’re facing at the moment. I know that it’s been hard in our #yearofno to not feel trapped by credit card debt.
When you feel that way, be intentional about seeing the good in every day things. Use a gratitude journal or have a conversation with your family about each person’s happy moments of the day.
Ask for Help
Pride is there for a reason, sometimes, but it can also be a stumbling block. If you’re honestly struggling and you don’t see a way out, it’s ok to ask for help. Benefits and services aren’t there for someone else. If you’re in a hard part of life, they are there for you!
I’ll admit that I haven’t always felt that way. I’ve been one of those people that judges others who separate WIC items from fun stuff and junk food on the cashier’s belt. That’s why I’m so glad that I was chosen to receive a preview copy of a book called More Than Just Making It. This book (which, by the way, is written by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker…so you know her heart is gold) is not your typical frugal living book.
Erin talks about her family’s struggles with money. Her experience is incredibly eye opening. At one point they used government assistance so she could feed her young children and cover their medical care. Not many people would write such an honest story about that.
There are so many wonderful things to takeaway from this book. But the biggest impact for me was the deeper understanding of our fellow human beings.
There’s the foster mom afraid of being judged for using government assistance to buy the food and supplies that enable her to care for needy foster kids. Then there’s Erin’s story of applying for assistance, only to learn that her situation was far better than the woman working behind the desk.
This story gives hope to people worrying about money. But it also gives hope to people worried about life.
And if your money troubles mean you could never afford to buy a book, be sure to ask your local library if they’ll have it in stock. Many libraries are open to ideas, so if they aren’t planning to order a copy, request that they do!
Remember that you are in control of your money worries. Don’t let them control you!
Our family held on to each other through our tough money times, and now we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind that even when you feel stuck in a situation you can’t control, God is working in places you can’t see. Do not give up!
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How do you keep from worrying about money?