If you are at all like me, you stress about money. In fact, a quick Google search shows that 72% of adults are stressed about their money right now. Whats worse, is that 22% of adults rate their financial stress level as extreme. If you are in the other 28% of us who isn't stressed about your money, well, good for you. But if you are stressed, here are are a few things you can do to ease your financial stress.
Communicate About Your Financial Situation
You would be amazed at what a good whine and wine session will do for you! Sit with a trusted friend, family member, or spouse and talk it out. Sometimes, all you need to do is talk about it to relieve some of the stress you are feeling. If you don't have someone to talk to, come see us at the Credit Union. We have people on staff whose job is to talk with you and help you with all of your financial issues.
Give Yourself a Little Bit of Wiggle Room
This might sound hard, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck. So instead of writing this tip off as impossible, begin by writing down every dollar you spend in a week. Take a look at that list once the week is over and figure out the places that you can cut costs. The more unnecessary expenses that you can cut out of your budget, the more wiggle room you have in your budget.
This one seems pretty straight forward and simple, and it is if you do it right. Just be careful no to start too big too early. Start small, by tracking your savings for a month and work your way up to building your emergency savings. After you have a good sized emergency savings, start paying off your debt. Or, if debt isn't an issue for you, start saving for fun things like a vacation!
Automate Your Payments
By automating your bill pays for mortgage payments, utilities, credit card bills, or any other bills you have, your life will become way easier. It also helps you to avoid the nasty late fees that comes from missing a payment. Not having to worry about those constant bills will help clear up your time and eliminate some of the financial stress that comes with paying your bills.
Start with Your Debt
There are varying strategies on the best way to begin paying off your debt. Financial gurus like Dave Ramsey suggest paying-off smaller balances first. But I disagree. I think the best thing you can do is pay off the accounts with the highest interest rates first. Interest can end up costing you so much more than the initial cost of your purchase. So paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first, saves you money in the long run. After those are paid off, then focus on the smaller balances.
Become a Money Master
Finally, the best advice I can give you is to increase your financial awareness by continuing to learn more about money and finances. There are all kinds of podcasts on this topic, but some of my favorites are: Planet Money , Dave Ramsey , Stacking Benjamins , and Her Money. These posts are all awesome for giving you the information to make well informed financial decisions. If you have more questions or need someone to talk to about your financial stress, let us know!
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