Sunday, July 1, 2007

Money anxiety

Moreso than an actual need for money for basic goods, I am motivated by money anxiety. I have a constant stream of what ifs in my head. What if we don't ever have enough money to retire? What if one of us lost a job? What if we had an emergency? In essence, a lot of my financial plans are motivated by fear.

The more I talk to people about money, and the more I participate in the pfblogging community, the more I start to think that a lot of us do plan our lives around this fear and anxiety. I talked to a friend the other day who has a ridiculous salary, a great portfolio of investments, an emergency fund, fully funded retirement plans, and no debt except his house. Do you know what he said? "I have to work overtime. I still don't have enough money. What if something happened?"

This made me realize that, although I am not in nearly that position, I probably sound very much the same to the people around me. It's not that I don't have enough money to meet my needs, or even my wants, it's just that I don't have "enough". Enough, that magic amount of money that will suddenly make me feel safe, make me feel that I don't have anything to worry about. I don't think that there is really such an amount of money.

So, while I am still going to work on the money issues, I'm also going to try to pay more attention to the fear. What are the things in my life that bring up anxiety? How can I plan for those things so that they aren't actually dangers for me? And, of course, how much money really is "enough"?

8 comments:

Super Saver said...

I have come to the conclusion that "enough" is a muliple of what I earn right before I retire, so that I can live comfortably in retirement. My multiple is 20X, with a minimum being 12X.

Here is the link to the article from which I determined these multiples: http://www.fpanet.org/journal/articles/2006_Issues/jfp0106-art6.cfm

PiggyBank Raider said...

Ah... that age old question: How much is really enough? I have "bag lady" fears all the time. I try to break it down to numbers. I tally up all our household expenses, imagine what we could cut out if we *really* had to (like selling one car), and then decide a minimum monthly budget. I'm currently trying to save an emergency fund with 3 months living expenses. That would help me avoid the "What if we lose our jobs?" anxiety. But the "What if we get sick?" or "What if a disaster happens?" anxieties are still a problem for me.

Steven Diamond said...

Anxiety over money is very real. Millions suffer from it. I applaud you for helping to educate and inform the public. People suffer only because they do not know how NOT too. When we educate ourselves and learn the proper skills, we begin to experience life as it was meant to be. Most people who suffer from anxiety and stress don't know any other way to live. They don't have the skills to spot their triggers and then stop the cycle of preprogrammed "knee-jerk" reactions to real life situations. When you learn the right set of skills like the one's I teach in my blogs, you then begin to see real changes in you and in the quality of your life.

http://attackanxiety.blogspot.com/

Again, education is the key. Without it, how you live right now is the best it will ever be. Oh and by the way... Anxiety never gets better on it's own. It will only get worse. So invest in your own well being and learn the right skills that will allow you to better manage your stress, panic, depression and anxiety. All of those words actually mean the very same thing because they are all "Fear based".

Again, I thank you for such a great blog. Keep up the good work. You are helping many to understand.

All the best,
Steven Diamond
Founder of AttackAnxiety.Com

Steve Slimm said...

Hello,

this is a great little blog to acknowledge what I believe to be a pretty pandemic symptom of our society - the "not enough" syndrome!

It seems to stems from a basic mistaken thought somewhere in deep personal history: "I am not enough" - then shows itself in all sorts of relational situations - including money.

I spent almost two years of my life in a state of 'mony anxiety' and worked my way through it. Although I still have many debts, I suffer no more!

I've been sharing some stuff that I learned with others through a website:

www.MoneyStressAnxiety.com

where I talk about my experience and the kind of help I am now able to offer others.

To anyone reading this who is currently suffering with the 'not enough' syndrome - I wish you a speedy recovery!

Steve Slimm

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