Four ways to feel less anxious about money

Written by Lisa Pallavi Barbora

Lisa Pallavi Barbora is a Senior Consultant for Content at WFAN. Lisa is also a founder of In her earlier avatar, she was a National Writer and Consultant for HT Mint - a premier business journal in India.

April 16, 2020

There is no way to really escape yourself or your thoughts at least for the next 2-3 weeks as you remain locked in a small physical space, unable to break down the limits placed on us by a novel infection, invisible to the eye.

We are all in the same boat, all of us restrained within the confines of our homes, trying to visualise what the future holds for us. For many, it’s a rethink of how we lived before the pandemic caused this immense upheaval all over the world. For others, it’s back to the drawing board thinking about basic lifestyle issues in the wake of possible pay cuts and job losses. Whichever phase you’re facing today, it’s bound to come with a serving of anxiety on the side.

Deep breathing, meditation and yoga are some tools recommended for keeping calm in the wake of a crisis. In this article, we will talk about some ways in which you can also manage your anxious thoughts when it comes to your financial future.

1. Focus on your control centre

Undoubtedly inflows are going to be uncertain if this crisis continues longer than we expect it to. As of now, the countrywide lockdown has been extended till the beginning of May 2020, some businesses are already suffering losses and many others will now find it hard to survive. As a result, there will be a spill-over in terms of employee salaries being cut and even job losses. This eventuality, if it happens to you or your loved one, is beyond your own control as it is driven by external factors which you aren’t responsible for. Nevertheless, it can become your reality, albeit temporarily.

What you can control in the meantime is how you spend the money you have saved, how you upskill yourself with digital tools available freely online and how you plan your cashflows for the next year or so.

In short, focus on what you can change rather than dwelling on what is beyond your area of control.


2. Calculate and cut back

Spend time budgeting and finding ways to reduce expenses on needless frills, ensure that you have enough savings to last a few more months without changing your basic lifestyle and if not then check on which assets you can liquidate when the need arises. If you weren’t already doing it, start calculating the amount of money you spend during the lockdown on a weekly basis. Think about additional expenses that may come up once the lockdown is over, then start budgeting around which of these additional spends you need and those that you can do without. This exercise will give you a good idea of your cash outflows in the event that inflows in terms of your salary or earnings start to get reduced. Knowing the numbers gives comfort around being able to manage them better. Without knowing them, you will go on spending on things you don’t really need and end up falling short at the end of the month.

3. Write down what you want to achieve

After dealing with your expenses and cash outflows in a systematic manner, focus on how you want to see your financial future evolve. Visualise your life beyond this current crisis and how you would like to continue forward. This involves writing down your life’s future goals and then assigning some financial value to those goals. Or you could simply have a goal of rebuilding the lost savings cushion in the crisis and you can decide on how far you want to grow that and by when. For example, your aim may be to save ₹10 lakhs in 2 years. Write that down. Writing down your future financial goals, however big or small they may be, will give you the ability to think and visualise how you can achieve these goals. What you need to change in how you function professionally and personally, will depend on what you want to achieve going forward and what you need financially to get there.

4. Be Thankful

This last step is something that many of us often forget in times of uncertainty and crisis. If you are reading this blog, it means you are indoors, with access to wi-fi or some network connectivity, you have time to spare, you have an education that holds you in good stead and you have good health. These are more than enough reasons in this global crisis to be thankful. Remind yourself that you are in a good place, despite the chaos around you. Start your day being thankful for everything you have and for the people around you who add value to your life. Focus on the positive and let go of what is not working out, of what is not in your control. At this point we circle right back to where we began this exercise, bring the focus back to your control centre.


Managing your money life is not very different than managing all other aspects of your life. What you need to do is take control, focus, visualise and execute. Be grateful for what life has to offer you and nourish that into a better future which you can create for yourself with a focused and systematic approach. These steps are essentially about centring your own thoughts about money. When you do that, the awareness of your situation is enhanced within yourself and achieving your vision becomes clearer with no room for anxiety.

Keep being thankful and achieve the best you can.  

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