Budgeting & Anxiety


I have anxiety and have found a few things to help me find balance between obsessive tracking (my therapist encourages me not to use the word obsessive, but that is the best way to describe it) and just never ever looking.

I’ve set almost everything that I can onto auto-pay/auto pilot.

In order to do this and not fully and deeply panic (which I still do sometimes) I built up a buffer, which took a very long time and I’m still working on it.
I keep way more in my checking account than I “should”, and I have every auto-draft backed up to my general emergency fund, which is also a bit too big.
I’d say I started to feel a bit more peaceful when I had about 1k “extra” built up, which took quite a long time.
My checking account never goes to zero. This is not optimal, BUT it eases my anxiety to such a large degree that I consider it a mental health bill, spread over several years. Really, genuinely, doing this has helped change my life for the better.

Now, after watching the very small fluctuations in my bills over time, and knowing they won’t crush me, I just keep that extra 1k in there and let the bills be auto-paid.
It has changed my life.
I also feel incredibly privileged and lucky to have had the ability to earn and deposit the 1k to begin with. It took me a few years of putting a little extra in each month after bills, savings, retirement, etc.

When I have a big purchase, I take it from a specified sinking fund (Car, Pet, Medical, Gym, etc.), which works for me, but again is non-optimal, as my sinking funds are all in savings accounts.

I check everything about every quarter.


I think a lot of people who go on about how important it is to have everything optimized for maximum financial returns either/both:

  1. Are incredibly privileged and have never experienced having the rug pulled out from under them financially and

  2. Don’t struggle with anxiety and/or other mental health issues.

$1k in a checking account that lets you sleep at night and doesn’t encourage you to check your balance 28 times a day (or more) is TOTALLY optimizing in my book. You are optimizing for quality of life. Don’t underestimate the value of that.


I struggle to not check my balances almost every day and I stress if I owe any money anywhere (i bascially feel compelled to pay my credit card off every day as opposed to end of the month)

and I find I check my money a lot more when feeling more anxious as I feel its something I have at least some control over.


:heart: that’s all. I don’t have any advice, as I do a lot of the same things. But you’re heard. :heart:

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thanks :purple_heart:

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