HOW TO MANAGE MONEY WORRIES – PRIORITIZE THE BIGGEST DEBT :PAYDAYLV
Many people experience financial stress. It’s never a good experience, and those who experience it generally know exactly how they got there. Once in that position, it’s not only clear how you got there but there also isn’t a very easy way out.
Last year in 2020, the pandemic probably threw everyone’s stress into overdrive, especially regarding finances. It could have been a job loss or perhaps rushing into a home purchase that you’re now regretting.
The good news is that there is a way out of it – turning your focus to handling the problem rather than avoiding it can be the best thing to do. Here are some ways to help you manage financial stress and get back on the path to happiness.
PRIORITIZE THE BIGGEST DEBT
The best thing you can do is accept that there are problems and that you’ll have to do some work to make them go away. Once you’ve accepted your situation, the next best thing you can do is pull together all of your debts.
Try not to focus on how much or how many. You just want to figure out which one is the biggest. This is the one you will focus on first. Make sure the minimum payments are set up to automatically get paid on all of the debts you have, then put everything else you can into the largest debt. This is especially true if it’s credit card debt as these have the highest interest rate.
CREATE A BUDGET AND SET GOALS
Whether you have debts, you’re working on your debts, or you don’t have debts, a budget is critical to reducing financial stress. Work on making sure every dollar is accounted for.
If your goal is paying off debt, make this the priority and make sure your expenses are all covered. If your goal is saving for retirement, start with 15% of your net monthly income and see how your expenses look after that.
PUT TOGETHER AN EMERGENCY FUND
An emergency fund should be at the top of your list when it comes to managing financial stress. Whether you worry about worst-case scenarios or they never cross your mind, you need to have some cash on the side just in case.
In a perfect world, having 6 months’ worth of income in cash is the best. This allows you a nice big buffer if you lose your job and have no income for a while. If you’re paying off debts, start with $1,000 in cash and then turn your focus back on paying off debts.
GET HELP FROM OUTSIDE THE HOME
Asking for help is never a bad thing. Sometimes your stress is just too much to figure out on your own, and Google can only help you so much. You may not even know what questions to ask.
You can ask a friend or parent, you can look for a top-rated personal finance book complete with step-by-step guides, or you could search for a financial planner to help you. If you can stretch your budget and it would be a benefit to you, you can also look for a counselor or therapist to help you manage the thoughts rolling around in your head.
At the end of the day, remember that you are not the only one who has this problem and millions of people have been there and found their way back to happiness. Keep telling yourself that it’s possible. Look online for success stories to give you hope and remember that the goal is to be like them.
Every problem is different, and everyone tends to focus on something different. Regardless, stay positive and don’t get discouraged if you experience a setback.
Financial stress is hitting many more people than normal after extensive job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only that, but people also who were planning on retiring may have to keep working because their accounts took a hit and have to start building back up again. Either way, managing your financial stress is an important part of realizing happiness in your life. Whatever your problem is, there are tools available to help you manage it and come out fulfilled on the other side.