Too much debt, not enough money, kids, marriage and the list can go on. There are a lot of reasons that you may be feeling some financial stress. It is one of the largest stressors on relationships. When you are stressed out it affects other aspects of your life. You may have a hard time concentrating at work or completing tasks at home or focusing on your relationships because you have the financial stress hanging over your head all of the time. If you can reduce your worry, you will be able to focus more on your life and relax knowing you have a plan that can help you handle your financial situation. There are a few things you can do now to relieve your financial stress and make it easier to function every day.
1. Create a budget: At first, you may think that a budget is only going to add to your financial stress, but it is the best tool you have to get control of your finances and stop worrying about money. A budget allows you to decide when and how you are going to spend your money. It is really a spending plan that makes sure you are reaching your retirement, and savings goals. It can help you find extra money to put towards debt.
The first few months of planning a budget are the most difficult, but once you understand what to do you can often reduce the amount of time you spend on it, and you can really reduce the amount of time you spend worrying about money. Your budget will give you the control that you need over your finances. It is the best tool to help you change your financial situation. Start with just one month’s of expenses and then go from there cutting back in different areas each month until you find the perfect balance.
2. An emergency fund is money you have set aside to cover unexpected expenses and financial emergencies. Although a car repair can be expensive and stressful, if you know you can tap into your emergency fund to cover it, a lot of the stress will go away. It is also easier to use the money in your budget the way you planned if you know you have the extra money in the bank ready to cover the unexpected emergencies that may crop up. You should have at least $1,000 in the bank until you are out of debt and after that you should work up to about six months of your expenses.
Building an emergency fund may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet each month. Start by putting a $100.00 in the bank for each paycheck, and any leftover money you have in any category at the end of the month so that you can build up your expenses. You may also consider selling a few items to build up that cash as quickly as you can. You will be surprised at how quickly the stress goes away when you have that money in the bank