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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5556
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have an mental issue with how much money

Customer Question

I have an mental issue with how much money I have in the bank. You see I am on disability and I live with my Grandparents (who are 95 and 85) so I don't really have serious bills. My car was bought for me and my insurance is paid for me. I do not pay for rent, food, water, etc. However, I have certain bills like a high monthly cell phone bill and certain credit cards that I ran up and now pay pretty much the minimum every month. So I am not in the best financial position. I get $860 a month from disability but the amount of money in my account has been going down and down ever since I first got on disability 2 years and about 5 months ago. At first I was given a payoff from Social Security for over $7000 because I was turned down twice and then approved for disability after a hearing. So they went back and paid me what I would have had if I had been approved when I first applied (as if there rule.) Well, over the years my bank account has been going down and down since my expenditures are greater than my income (sometimes this is medication that is not covered by Medicare.) I have always felt secure since I had the $7000 in my account because that we more than I had ever had. However, it has gone down as I said and it went to under $5000 and under $4000. I see with bills coming up it will fall under $3000. Now in a sense it doesn't really matter. I am in no immediate danger of going broke or not being able to pay my bills or buy my medication. However, I have never been this low. I was able to accept being under $4000 but being under $3000 scares me. I guess it is more like just a number since I do not even need $2500 at this point. I will still be able to make my bills. I hope that before I go broke I will be able to work again. However, that one mark, $3000, has a large meaning in my own mind. So if my bank account drops to say, $2800 it would upset me greatly. What can I do to not worry about this? As I said, I have everything paid for so I am not going to be homeless or starving. I am not going to be without my medication. It is all in my head. I really believe that. But it still bothers me. What can I do to combat this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the requesting my help.

 

Your first step in dealing with this is to realize that it is normal to have a limit in your mind to what you feel your safety zone is for your savings and budget. Most people who are conscientious about their income and spending habits usually are very aware of their limits. So this shows you are being healthy about your financial situation.

 

The next step is to understand that nearing your budget limit has made you feel out of control. People who are good with their money often associate difficult financial times with feeling out of control. Picture someone who has lost their job. Most people feel frightened, upset and out of control. This is a normal reaction.

 

Third, start a plan on how to gain control again. Seeking out a small part time job, taking a hard look at where you can cut costs, and exploring other options can all help you feel better about your budget.

 

Is it possible for you to make extra money? If you cannot work an outside job, how about something like Ebay? Scour garage sales, research what is valuable or could make some money and try selling. It may not make you a lot, but the extra few dollars could help you pay a bill here or there.

 

There are also survey sites on line you can try. Research reputable ones and sign up.

 

Do side jobs for neighbors or family for extra cash.

 

Those are some examples of things you can try to help you gain control again and feel better about your money.

 

I hope this has helped,
Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not able to earn any money right now. My mental state will not allow me to work. That is why I am on disability. You said, "Most people who are conscientious about their income and spending habits usually are very aware of their limits." Well, maybe I need to adjust my comfort levels. My Grandparents wouldn't let me walk around broke. That are not super rich but they are fairly comfortable and they would help me out if need. As I said, I am not going to starve or go homeless as many people think of when they lose their jobs. My money does run low at the end of the month since I get my monthly payment from SS on the 3rd of the month. I hope that in say, 6 months I will be able to start with a bit of gainful employment though I am not sure.. But until then I am in this situation. The thing is if I had $3100 in my account I would feel fine but if it was say $2800 I would freak out. I need to adjust my thinking more than planning my finances I believe. I need to be able to tell myself the $2800 for example is not so bad and it is nothing to be scared or upset about. And then the 3rd of the month will come in a week and a half and I will be back over $3000. However, in either case, when I go to pay something with my debit card (attached to my bank account) it will be approved if I had $3100 or $2800 or even $2500 in my account. So I think I need to change my thinking since I can't change my finanical sitaution. What can I do about this?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Yes, changing your thinking is also an option. That may take a bit of time, but you can do it. It is a matter of telling yourself each time you think about your money that you are comfortable with a lower level of savings. So for example, you are ok now with 3100. Make a new level at say 2600. Then remind yourself each time it comes up that 2600 is a great amount of savings.

 

Add to your new way of thinking anything that supports those thoughts such as your grandparents will help you, you are in a safe place in your situation, you will try to get a job in a few months, etc. By making it logical, it will help you reset your thinking.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5556
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
5556 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.