Financial anxiety affects many Americans. We worry about what will happen if we lose our job, become ill or the car breaks down. These are real problems which can lead to ever-increasing levels of debt. You start borrowing, then the interest builds until the debt is unmanageable. Financial stress is real. People spend sleepless nights worrying and it can take a toll on marriages. There are ways to combat the stress, but the time to start is now, before financial problems begin.
1. Talk About Spending and Saving with Your Partner
Not agreeing on how to spend or save causes marital problems. Go over your income and expenses and create a plan for bring them into line. Make sure you’re not spending more than you are taking in. If you are, agree on what expenses to cut. One person who eats out each day while the other brown bags it is a recipe for disaster.
2. Save for Emergencies
You should have an emergency fund which covers at least three months worth of living expenses. This has to be a priority if you want to curb your financial anxiety. With a financial cushion, you can sleep easier at night and worry less about losing your job or having a necessary appliance in the home break down.
3. Pay Off High Interest Credit Cards
Pay off your high interest credit cards as quickly as possible. Never pay the minimum amount due unless you cannot find any more money in your budget. Make paying off all your credit card debt a priority before cable, eating out and other luxuries. Having a credit card can save you if the car breaks down or the refrigerator goes on the fritz.
You can reduce financial stress by having money and credit on hand to handle emergencies. Ideally, you should take these steps today, before you find yourself in a bind.