Financial fears are the scariest fears for many of us – and the most difficult to overcome. The roots of money fear extend back to our childhood, sometimes beyond our ability to even remember why we’re so scared of not having enough money.
“Financial considerations are a big thing,” says a reader on our She Blossoms Facebook Group. “Will we have to work long hours to make enough money for retirement? Marriage can be good if we have someone to share our financial goals and money fears with, but that’s not a possibility for everyone. How do you cope with fears of not having enough money, especially as a divorced or single woman?”
When I was a kid, my single mom and I were on welfare (today, it’s “social assistance” — but back then it was welfare). Often there wasn’t enough money to last until the end of the month so we’d get a bag of food from the food bank. It was humiliating, even when nobody saw us. It felt shameful and wrong — even for me as a little girl — to have to ask for food. As a result, my financial fears run deep and wide…and I’ve discovered a few ways to cope with my fear of running out fo money.
Why are you afraid of running out of money? Take time to get to the root of your financial fears, because they may not be grounded in reality. If your fears are unfounded, then you’re shouldering a burden that isn’t yours.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Not Having Enough Money
My “She Blossoms” articles — even my posts about overcoming fears of running out of money — are often broken up into five different categories. These “Blossom Tips” ensure I cover the whole spectrum: Spirit, Heart, Soul, Body, and Brain. And, the separate Blossom Tips help you identify which works best for you.
For instance, maybe you need a little spiritual TLC (tender loving care) — so the first tip will fire up your faith to overcome financial fears. Maybe you need emotional or psychological healing (Heart Blossoms) or creative fire (Soul Blossoms). Both will help with overcoming your fear of running out of money. Or maybe you need bodily encouragement! That’s the Body Blossoms tip, for a push toward physical health and wellness. And finally…your brain. Maybe you need a Brainy Blossom to help you think strategically about how to overcome your fear of not having enough money.
1. Spirit Blossoms – Learn divine ways to overcome financial fears
“I’ve been reading articles on Biblical finances,” said My She Blossoms Facebook group member. “There are some Facebook groups that cover finances, teaching people how to manage money in a Biblical way. Scripture offers financial guidelines that not everyone is aware of.”
Learning Scriptural “money truths” is a wonderful way to overcoming your fear of running out of money. I’d combine faith and trust with sound Biblical doctrine about managing money, coping with financial fears, and balancing giving and saving. If your church offers a financial management class, workshop or course, take it! Read books on managing money in Biblical ways, such as 31 Days to a Greater Understanding of Money: Biblical Principles to Help You Get Out of Debt & Enjoy the Life God Has For You by Karen Ford.
Read the Bible, and know that humans have been coping with fear of running out of money since they were cast out of the Garden of Eden. Remember that you are not alone. If you’re a believer, the spirit of God is hovering over your life.
2. Heart Blossoms – Rest where you can’t act
Even if you had a gazillion dollars in the bank, you wouldn’t have 100% control over your future. Nobody knows for sure what’s in store, and the worst problems aren’t solved by money. Your health, relationships, and emotional freedom aren’t secured by your finances. Your family can’t be protected by money. Neither can your marriage, home, or retirement. In fact, you may reach the end of your life and learn that running out of money was the least of your worries. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?
Give yourself the freedom of rest. Instead of constantly trying to learn how to overcome your fear of not having enough money, take time to rest in the comfort, peace and security of God. Find the balance — that sweet spot — between faith and action. Sometimes you need to actively searching for ways to survive when you have no money.
3. Soul Blossoms – Trust in your creativity to solve financial problems
In one of Martha Beck’s books — I think it was Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny — she described how drug addicts manage to amass over $100,000 per year to feed their addiction. They’re homeless, unhealthy, unemployed, and often uneducated. They don’t file taxes, or have a retirement plan. They don’t even have a bank account! And yet they manage to spend thousands — often hundreds of thousands — of dollars a year to support their habit.
If a homeless, unemployed, uneducated drug addict can somehow find $100,000 per year to feed her habit, then you could probably find creative ways to cope with whatever financial troubles you’ll face in the future. Or that you’re facing now, in fact. I know it’s not easy, and the fear of not having enough money when you’re old and addled isn’t easy to overcome. I understand; I’ve slept on the street and eaten out of garbage cans. And you know what? It sucks. But it’s temporary, and there are creative ways to climb back into safety and security.
Read 25 Odd Jobs and Hobbies That Make Money in Creative Ways for lots of interesting money-making ideas.
4. Body Blossoms – Stay physically healthy
One of the biggest barriers to employment and financial security is illness. Physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual illnesses can destroy your ability to take care of yourself financially and in all other ways. Illness is also expensive not just financially, but it absorbs your time, energy and creativity.
Read articles like 10 Tips for Eating Healthy When You Don’t Make Much Money. Don’t spend money on gym memberships, organic groceries, yoga clothes or Pilates classes. Dance around your neighborhood, pick up garbage in your community, walk your neighbor’s dog. Stop eating crap that makes you feel worse about your life. The healthier you are physically, the more natural endorphins will be flowing through your body. This is one of the best tips on overcoming your fear of not having enough money: simply feeling good in your body.
5. Brainy Blossoms – Set boundaries and take action where you can
What steps can you take towards ensuring your financial stability in the future? Start taking action today. Make a list of small steps toward your Big Financial Goal, and start chipping away at it. Acting will put you in control of your money, and help you overcome your fear of not having enough money in the future.
And, set your financial boundaries and limits. I know so many women who are worried and anxious about paying for their children’s college or university education, or paying for an expensive wedding, or buying nice cars or homes or organic groceries. These are luxuries that are unnecessary.
Sure, paying for your kids’ university tuition and books might be nice. Maybe. Me, I took out student loans for all three of my degrees. I have a Psychology degree, an Education degree, and a Master of Social Work. And I’m not even formally working in the fields of psychology, education, or social work! Good thing my mom didn’t struggle, scrimp and save to find enough money for my education.
What do you think? Your comments – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, and would love to hear from you. And don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do about overcoming your financial fears.
Are you getting as old as the hills, like me? Read Help Finding Part Time Jobs for Seniors and Retirees.
You have a source of wisdom that goes far above me, and you’ll listen to His voice when you’re ready. Then, your faith will give you the strength and courage you need to walk into the next season of life. You’ll learn how to overcome your fear of running out of money, and you’ll blossom into who God created you to be.