“The Mind Over Money Survey,” by Capital One and the Decision Lab, reports that the following statistics reflect the worries American’s have regarding money:
- 77% of Americans report feeling stressed over their current finances
- 52% are unable to control their worries about money
- 68% about not having enough to retire
- 56% about being able to keep up with inflation
- 45% about managing the amount of their debt
Financial problems are a source of stress for many people. It is best to be proactive and have a plan to avoid problems. Life can take us off track with unforeseen issues such as: the loss of a job, health issues, family problems, or major repairs. Financial stress can have an adverse effect on one’s mind, body, and spirit. It can affect your job and relationships. It can lead to physical and emotional ailments such as: depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, headaches, difficulty concentrating, GI issues, and more. If your financial crisis is seriously impacting your life, it is best to contact a licensed professional such as: a financial planner, a credit counselor, a bankruptcy attorney, or mental health practitioner.
To assess your financial health, The National Fund for Workforce Solution suggests you look at the following areas. Are you…
- disciplined to meet daily and monthly finance?
- prepared with a nest egg to help you survive through financial crisis?
- moving towards meeting your financial goals?
- achieving financial security to have the freedom to make choices that bring joy into your life?
To develop financial resilience, you need to have control of one's spending, saving, borrowing, and planning. Some places to start are to:
- have financial resilience by having control of your spending, saving, borrowing, and planning
- make the decision that you are committed to managing your money
- decide to start immediately
- start saving immediately, no matter how little
- have short and long-term money goals
- maximize employer matching plans and increase contributions as you receive raises
- open a Roth IRA
- have an emergency fund with 6 months or more of your expenses
- set up an automatic monthly deposit into your savings
- open a credit union account (they can be a great resource for loans)
- live within your means
- minimize buying on credit
- pay off credit cards each month or ASAP
- set up a budget
- keep a log of where you are spending your money
- find places to cut extra spending to increase your savings
- Understand your insurance policies regarding their limits and coverage. Purchasing insurance policies because they are less expensive could be limiting your coverage and could end up costing you more. Shop around for car, home, and health insurance policies. Read the small print and ask the terms to be explained.
- consult at least 2-3 financial advisors to compare their recommendations
- to control spending, ask yourself if your purchase is a WANT or a NEED
- learn to pay with cash
Below are links that I personally like and feel they can educate you to reduce financial worries. (Note: I am not a financial advisor, nor do I have any affiliation with the companies below). Educating yourself will be helpful when you contact professionals regarding your finances. In addition to searching online, ask friends and family for recommendations of planners or check with your local bank.
Start saving today no matter how little. When you delay some of today's wants, and invest that money, you have the value of time to increase your wealth. With the compounding of money and how it doubles over time, the sooner you start the larger your nest egg will be when you retire. If you start at age 25 and invest $5,000 a year for 11 years at 8%, you would have invested $55,000 and will yield approximately $615,000. However, if you wait until age 35 to invest $5,000 at 8% and save until age 60, you would have contributed $130,000 and will yield $431,754. Better Investing offers a more detailed chart on investing and compounding to view Click Here.
Bank of America’s website has great tips on helping you create better financial habits. Their site includes some graphs that help with understanding the value of time and compounding. To access their information Click Here
One website that I especially like is the Clever Girl Finance. They offer free courses, articles, podcasts, books, and much more, Click Here to access their website.
Suze Orman is a well-known author and educator on finances. Her site has many podcasts on credit, debt, investing, student loans, insurance, estate planning, To access her site Click Here.
Fannie Mae, is a lending source whose goal is to make affordable housing accessible in the United States. To view their information to help with moving towards owning a home see their websierere. www.fanniemae.com
Fannie Mae also offers information on managing and building your credit. For more info Click Here
I also found the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki to be a valuable resource. He also created a board game Cashflow which is a fun way for the whole family to learn about money.
Regardless of where you are in your debt and financial planning, the best place to take back control is to decide to make changes today. Forgive yourself for past bad habits. The experience we gain from making wrong choices helps us to avoid more costly mistakes in the future. Any step you take towards creating a budget, living within your means, controlling debt, and building your short and long-term savings can have a great impact on your stress reduction. Reducing your stress has many benefits including improving your health, giving you a better quality of life.