The Worry Is Worse Than The Work: Managing Money Stress

Author: Connie Hughart
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
It’s a lesson I have had to learn over and over again in my life. The worry is worse than the work. The work of doing dishes, dusting, balancing the checkbook, or educating myself on a subject I have no interest in is never as draining as the worry of not having it done. I have found myself spending hours, days, or weeks stressing over something that needs to be done instead of just doing it. At different times in my life, I have spent months or even years with nagging worry in the back of my head over something that I think I can’t accomplish but I know I need to. Worry eventually turns into guilt. The never-ending stream of excuses I use to pacify my guilt and worry eventually grows thin and I can no longer silence the voice in my head that was once my grandmother.  “Well, sweetie, the worry is always worse than the work. Let’s just get started.”

Growing up I spent a lot of time with Grandma Baer and since we had a family business,  much of my workday as a young adult was also spent with her. As all grandmothers are, she was a special influence in my life but also my mentor. Whenever a project would arise that we did not really want to do or maybe we would be feeling just a little tired, she would remind me that the worry was worse than the work and we would then dig in and accomplish our task taking it one logical step at a time.

She was always right, of course. The task or project would usually be done much quicker and with less pain than I originally thought. The feeling of having accomplished a project that had been weighing on my mind or that I thought I couldn’t do at all was very freeing. It pushed me forward into the rest of my day with a lighter heart. As the years have gone by I have heard that little saying in my ears over and over again. Isn’t it annoying how the older we get the more things there are that we don’t want to do? Household budgeting is one.

How is it that the subject that causes most of us to go from reserved adulthood to a toddler who just threw himself onto the floor in a defiant screaming fit is personal finances? Let the excuses begin. “Yes, I know you should look at my checking account more often but…….” “ Yes, I know I should have a better grasp on my monthly bills but……….” “ Yes, I should be saving for the future but………” “Yes, I know I should be saving for that “thing” that’s going to happen NEXT WEEK BUT……..!”    Go ahead, let it out. I’ll wait.  The mundane household budgeting. The constant nagging feeling that no matter how hard we try we just are never going to get ahead.  We just don’t want to talk about it let alone learn the finer details. Yet talk and learn we must.

Alright, dear reader, as Grandma would say, the worry is worse than the work. Let’s get started. If you are ever going to free yourself from the worry that is your finances you have to start with acquiring 3 things inspiration, education, and accountability. Inspiration, education, and accountability are 3 keys to moving yourself forward in anything but for today we will talk about your money.


Getting inspired about something that you are apprehensive about is easier now than at any time in history. Using the internet you can look up videos, books, and articles on any subject that you want. And you don’t have to spend a lot of time reading. I prefer to listen to a podcast, book, or video while I am getting ready for work or doing dishes as opposed to trying to find extra time in my day to sit and read. In the case of basic personal finances, I would suggest Dave Ramsey. He’s been rich, then broke, then rich again. Dave Ramsey has built his business on helping the everyday worker handle money. He has books, a radio show, and videos all over YouTube. Listening to stories of others going through a financial crisis and coming out better off is what will give you the motivation to commit the time you need to do the next step.
Another great inspirational source is the Bible. The Bible mentions money over 400 times. So if you thought your finances weren’t important enough to get excited about, you may want to have a little discussion with Jesus on the matter. Prayer and the book of Proverbs are great inspirations.

   Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.                          -Proverbs 13:11


Take the stories and ideas that inspire and build on them by educating yourself. Budgets, interest, saving, investing, wills, and insurance are subjects not taught in school. So unless you had an adult in your life that made it their responsibility to ensure you were able to handle money, you may have had little to no training in these areas. That is not the fault of “teenager you”, however, “adult you” must now own it and educate yourself in whatever areas you’re lacking. It is no longer anyone else’s responsibility to teach you what’s happening with your money. It is your responsibility to learn. It will also be your responsibility to commit time. Find that time for a season of your life just as if you decided to go back to college. This is something that will shape your entire future and your children’s lives. Make the time.

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.  -Proverbs 10:4


This last yet still vital step to pushing yourself is one that is often overlooked especially when it comes to our checkbooks. Accountability is hard when it comes to our money because we have been first taught that our finances are private and secondly we may just be embarrassed.  Having a mentor, someone you are accountable to is important to keep you motivated and on track. Managing your money is all about making choices and let’s face it some of those choices can be confusing. Find someone who is just a little bit better than you are at it and ask for their help. Ask them to be your sounding board when thinking about making a major purchase. I know asking for this kind of help is a very personal thing, but even if they turn you down you will have flattered them and raised your credibility in their eyes by showing you have a plan to improve your situation.  

  Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.  -Proverbs 27:17

If you are married then take this journey together. If you are single then please take this journey before getting married. It will change how you choose your partner in life. Money problems have been one of the leading causes of divorce for decades. However, the problems are not for lack of money but the inability to agree on how to spend or save the money that is available.

I hope that you have found this blog a helpful first step into managing your money stress.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether   he has enough to complete it?   -Luke 14:28
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