How to Stop Worrying About Money

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Drawing of a person juggling financial responsibilities to illustrate a blog post titled how to stop worrying about money.

It’s three o’clock in the morning, and you are lying awake, fretting over your financial future. What if the markets tank? What if you have a serious health problem? What if people you don’t like get elected? You know you can’t solve these issues now, and perhaps you are even taking steps to protect yourself, but you cannot figure out how to stop worrying about money.

The trouble with money concerns is that although they are normal and may be valid, it is vital that you maintain perspective, or you risk behaving irrationally and possibly unraveling any safeguards you put in place. Yet, I understand that is challenging to do. So, as a financial advisor, I wanted to share some insights into why this happens, how it affects you, and what you can do about it.

Why Do We Worry About Money

One of the fascinating things about financial anxiety is that it doesn’t play fair. Logic suggests that people struggling to make ends meet would be more worried about money than those who are not. But that simply isn’t the case. Even people with substantial assets need reassurance because money worries are rarely entirely about money and are not processed in the part of the brain that deals with logic. Instead, they typically stem from the following: 

Anxiety Over an Uncertain Future

The world can seem unsafe if you feel stressed about your living situation, employment status, or anything else that gives you stability. And unfortunately, when we need a clearer picture of how the future will likely play out, we often fill in the gaps with our imagination. 

Many go straight to the worst-case scenario. For example, I have had clients cite concerns about becoming homeless or a “bag lady” despite having plenty of retirement assets. And I have noticed that if I ask questions, I typically learn that something unsettling is happening in their lives. It is difficult to understand how to stop worrying about money when distressed, but these worries usually calm once the situation resolves.

Emotional Baggage From Your Past

Person traveling with a carry-on bag to illustrate emotional baggage.

If you want to understand more about your views on money, consider your family’s financial situation when you were growing up. Were your parents good with money, and did they talk to you about managing your finances? Or did they struggle with money or refuse to discuss it at all? 

Whatever the case, your parents likely passed their mindset onto you, which can substantially affect your perspective on money and how you handle your finances even if you do things differently than they did. If they came from a place of scarcity or abundance, regardless of whether or not it was warranted, you probably do, too, even if you are no longer in that position. 

A Fear of Losing Ground

People hate to go backward in their lives, so if you manage your money carefully and have built up any wealth, it is natural to want to protect what you have. After all, going backward is unsettling and can cause you to question your decisions, even the good ones. So, for many of us, this hard-won sense of financial security becomes core to who we are. It is integral to how we see ourselves and affects our sense of belonging and worth.

So, what do these things have in common? They are emotional roadblocks that leave us feeling out of control. So, to solve the mystery of how to stop worrying about money, you must find a way to take charge of your finances.

How Do Money Worries Affect Us?

If you need encouragement to take action, consider the damaging effects of worrying about money. Here are just a few you might experience, but I’m sure you could come up with more of your own.

  • Money Worries Inhibit Our Ability to be Happy
    When you can’t stop thinking about your personal finances, enjoying your life can be challenging. Whenever you go out with friends, think about planning a vacation, or start preparing for an event, financial worries get in the way of your happiness.
  • Financial Stress is Hard on Our Relationships
    Spending time with someone who cannot overcome financial concerns can become wearisome, especially when the anxiety is not called for. That can lead to frustration, arguments, or even divorce (which, ironically, is incredibly expensive).
  • Money Pressures Can Result in Rash Decisions
    When you cannot figure out how to stop worrying about money, every piece of financial news can put you on edge. Unfortunately, this can lead to hasty and unwise decisions that will not serve you long-term.
  • Excessive Worrying is Detrimental to Our Physical and Mental Health
    Stress causes a release of hormones, which (in excess) are hard on our bodies and emotional well-being. It can weaken your immune system and lead to damaging health issues like high blood pressure, digestive challenges, anxiety, and depression.

How to Stop Worrying About Money

Business person looking at a phone to illustrate article about how to stop worrying about money.

Strangely, relatively wealthy people sometimes worry more about money than those less well-off financially. I suspect this is because the moment you start generating wealth, your finances become more complicated, and the more you have, the further you can fall. I’m not saying it’s easy to make the minimum payments on high-interest-rate credit card debt or crippling student loans, but the path forward is more apparent. You must remedy that situation, so you can start saving money for the future.

When you are generating wealth, however, the complexity of your finances can quickly become overwhelming. Although you might be brilliant at what you do for a living, that doesn’t mean you also have the bandwidth or interest to confidently and competently engage in money management.

There are two categories of people who worry about money: those that have taken steps to address their financial security and those that have not.

If you fall in the first category, already have a financial plan, and are still plagued by money worries, I would advise you to revisit your plan and use it to run “what-if” scenarios. That will help you determine whether the issue that bothers you would materially impact your plan.

If you have not addressed your financial security, consider finding and engaging a  qualified holistic financial planner you can trust – ideally, one with the CFP designation

Then, put aside some time to participate in their process. A good financial planner doesn’t take over your economic life. Instead, they partner with you, and together, you work through the following steps:

  1. Develop a Clear Picture of Your Financial Situation
    First, your advisor will help you capture your entire financial life in one place, so you know what you have to work with and can see the big picture.
  2. Document Your Life and Financial Goals
    Once you know what you have, you will outline your goals for the future. For instance, do you wish to retire? If so, when, where, and what do you want to do with that time?
  3. Establish a Budget and Plan for Achieving Those Goals
    Can you afford to do what you want to do? If not, this is where things get real. But once you know where the gaps lie, you can develop strategies for dealing with them, saving money, and investing.
  4. Create an Emergency Fund
    No one knows what the future holds, so a good financial advisor will insist on a plan that includes a safety net. That will empower you to weather life’s inevitable ups and downs.
  5. Establish a System for Managing Commitments and Tracking Progress
    A plan is only helpful if you do something with the information. So be sure to clarify who will perform which tasks and set up regular check-in meetings.
  6. Assess and Address Potential Obstacles, Given Your Plan
    When the goal is to discover how to stop worrying about money, it is best to address your concerns head-on. Ask your financial advisor to stress-test your plan so you can see the impact of certain situations and craft strategies for dealing with them.
  1. Review Your Progress and Adjust Your Plan Periodically.
    This is not a one-and-done process. Instead, expect regular meetings where you will evaluate your progress and recalibrate.

The Bottom Line

Financial concerns are real and can keep you up at night, but they are rarely entirely about money. And while the worries may be valid, it is critical to gain perspective about the likelihood of the concerns materially impacting your life. 

Fortunately, you can take control of your financial health by managing the variables within your purview and protecting yourself from those that are not. But it is best to find an empathetic and experienced financial professional who can help you develop sound strategies. 

If you are a client feeling stressed about money, please contact us to review your plans and address your concerns. That’s what we are here for. Or, if you would like to discuss whether Golden Road Advisors could be the right fit for you, please reach out today.


  • Jeff Kikoler

    Jeffrey Kikoler is a principal at Golden Road Advisors and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®️) practitioner with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He spends his days providing financial advice and guidance to clients. In addition to his CFP®️ certification, Jeff has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst®️ (CFA®️) designation and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.




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