Money Management Tips and Finance Basics

How to Overcome Your Financial Fears

If talking about money causes you stress, use these strategies to overcome your biggest financial fears.

Woman taking money out of walletDerek E. Rothchild/Getty Images

 

3. The Fear of Using Credit

While many people go overboard and carry too much credit card debt, others are afraid to get a credit card or use credit at all. But credit agencies rely on past payment history to gauge how borrowers will do in the future, says Brinkman. If you don’t borrow, they have no information to rely on, and, in future, you could face bigger impediments, like not being able to buy a home. Paying student loans, car loans, and other bills on time (and in full) helps build a credit history, and a better score,” says Brinkman.

Face the fear: Rego suggests analyzing what you predict will happen if you get or use a credit card. Are you worried that you’ll spend yourself into debt, or that if you apply for a card and get rejected, you’ll feel bad? If you’re too terrified to apply for a card, you can check your credit score for free at CreditKarma.com and see where you stand. If you don’t trust yourself to manage spending, you need to confront that fear directly–by putting yourself in the scary situation. “Get a credit card with a low limit and only carry it in certain situations (for instance, to the grocery store and gas station) to test your discipline and overcome your fear,” says Rego. By tackling this fear in stages, eventually you’ll be able to trust yourself with credit and use it wisely—which will benefit you in the long run.

 

4. The Fear of Reviewing Your Bills/Bank Statements

Avoidance–in the form of letting bills pile up, or turning a blind eye to reviewing bank statements or your credit report–can be devastating to your bottom line. Not looking over bank statements can lead to paying exorbitant overdraft fees, not having enough money to pay bills on time, or missing critical errors in your credit report, which does happen. Besides, avoiding your finances doesn’t make them go away, it only compounds your anxiety, instead of what could be in your interest-bearing savings account.

Face the fear: Tell yourself that not knowing is worse, says Sharp. “Then bravely get support from a trusted financial advisor, accountant, banker, lawyer, or a friend to help you review and interpret your financial documents.” No matter what you find, Sharp says only through knowing what the situation is can you deal with it and work toward getting on stronger financial footing.

 

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