As an introvert, I cling tightly to established relationships, so I make it a priority to maintain my friendship with L. Because we're both busy people, the easiest way for us to do this is to get together for dinner, which we try to do once a month. (This is one of the reasons my eating out budget is ridiculously high.) Earlier this week, we met at a local restaurant for cocktails, charcuterie, and a chance to catch up on everything that's happening in our lives. And one of the subjects that came up was money.
Having known her for 35 years, L is one of the few people with whom I can honestly talk about money. So I talked frankly about how I'm
"Oh my god, Solitary! You're a physician. Stop worrying about money so much! You have enough money. Just spend it!"
She then proceeded to tell me about her financial strategy, which is basically to meet with her financial advisor once a year to review her debt repayment strategy and investment strategy, after which she spends whatever money is left over. She doesn't really know her net worth, and she certainly doesn't know her daily net worth like I do. But with how little attention she pays to her money, she is vastly less stressed about finances than I am.
Now...I have no idea whether her financial strategy is a good one or not. She might be saving only a small percentage of her earnings, thus ensuring that she will need to work til 65 or beyond, in which case her approach isn't great. But she spends pretty reasonably for a high income earner, and she does recognize the importance of saving, so I suspect she's doing okay. And as I just said, she is vastly less stressed about finances than I am.
Which makes me wonder: Is a person's stress level about money inherent and inflexible, or can it be changed? If I start paying less attention to my finances, could they be less of a source of anxiety for me, or is this just part of my innately anxious personality? I had thought that building up a solid net worth would get rid of my financial worries altogether, but it has really only lessened them slightly. I'm now convinced that achieving Financial Independence is the key, but I'm not certain that even that will be enough. Maybe I'm just hard-wired to worry?
Are you anxious (reasonably or unreasonably so) about your finances? If so, how do you deal with it?