How to Cope with Money Worries: Advice from a Psychologist

Talking about financial troubles can be challenging. Laura interviews Dr. Jade Wu, a clinical psychologist and host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast, for wise tips. Listen to their conversation about helping others, asking for help, and getting better sleep when you're worried about money.

Laura Adams, MBA
2-minute read
Episode #669
The Quick And Dirty

Allow yourself a "worry window"—a time (perhaps 30 minutes each day) that you set aside to worry about your money challenges. When the window closes, try to move on. Acknowledge what's in your control and what isn't so you can focus on solutions instead of problems.

Money troubles can be difficult to talk about because they stir up intense emotions, such as guilt, anxiety, and fear. But they’re too important to ignore for both your financial and mental health.

Whether you have a friend or family member dealing with a financial problem or your own money challenges, it’s a sensitive topic. I interviewed Dr. Jade Wu, a clinical psychologist specializing in health psychology, for tips to help manage money worries. Jade also hosts QDT's Savvy Psychologist podcast, where she uses evidence-based research to helps listeners be happier and healthier.

On the Money Girl podcast, Jade and I discuss a variety of topics, including:

  • How to use empathy and open-ended questions in financial discussions
  • The importance of creating a safe space when talking about money
  • Why accomplishing a small financial step is a worthy goal
  • How to evaluate your own emotions before starting a money conversation
  • Whether you’re helping or enabling someone by lending money
  • How to ask others for financial help when you need it
  • Tips to get better sleep even when you're worried about money

[Listen to the interview using the embedded audio player or on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudStitcher, and Spotify]

When the worry window closes, do your best to move on with your day and stop worrying.

One of my favorite tips that Jade recommends is to use a “worry window”—giving yourself a set time, such as 30 minutes each day, when you allow yourself to dwell on your money problems. When the worry window closes, do your best to move on with your day and stop worrying. 

It’s also helpful to have a list of financial worries that are and are not in your control. When you fixate on something that’s not in your control, such as the pandemic or economy, shift your focus to something you can control. That might be making an appointment with a financial advisor, creating a financial plan, or looking for a new job. Creating solutions to your problems or getting expert advice is the key to solving them.

While you might have a lot to be concerned about, acknowledge that many worries simply aren't in your control. Putting boundaries around your worry and turning your attention to actionable solutions will help you improve your financial life and overall well-being.  

About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.