Worrying about money is natural. Almost everyone’s done it at some point. But worrying also could be a sign that there are serious problems you’re avoiding —a persistent little reminder that these problems are not going away. So if you're finding yourself stressed about this holiday season, there are some simple things you can do to stop worrying and take back control.
Ask yourself, “What am I really worried about”? If it’s something you can’t control, like the state of the economy, then don’t waste time worrying about it. If you’re tracking your spending, saving regularly, and living within your income—that’s the foundation of financial peace of mind.
But if there’s a real problem, like too much credit card debt, then take action! There’s no quick fix, but make a plan. Simply doing something will make you feel better, and eventually your financials will start to look better, too. Here are three simple things anyone can do to reduce financial anxiety.
First, when you get your paycheck, do not immediately think about how you’ll spend it. Instead, think about ways to save it. Put a portion of it in a savings account for emergency use only--even if it’s a small amount. Add to it every month. The goal here is to be able to cover three months of expenses. Knowing you have a few bucks in a savings account is huge! For even more security, add another income stream. It doesn’t have to be a second job—sell your old stuff online or monetize a hobby, like freelance writing or photography.
Second, schedule an appointment with a financial adviser. It is never too soon to make sure you’re on track for life goals! You can open a personal retirement account at your credit union. If your company offers a matching program for your 401(k), take advantage of it! Contribute the minimum to get your employer to kick in the same. You’ll be amazed at how that money will grow over time.
Third, did you know Extra Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative? That means we offer the same services as other financial institutions, but their mission is to help their members. So you don’t have to tackle your problems alone, you have a team of professionals who can—and really want—to help you. We can sit down with you, look at your financials, offer advice, and help you develop an action plan. We even offer education, so you can better understand money management.
Do these three things—build up your savings, have a financial adviser take a look at your whole financial picture, and visit your Extra Credit Union for help—and you’ll be worry-free in no time.
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