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Halloween is right around the corner, the season for scary things that go bump in the night. However, for many, the most frightening thing these days is finances. In fact, a 2018 survey indicated that 44% of Americans worry more about money than they do about anything else. It doesn’t have to be that way! Just like shining your light underneath the bed to prove there aren’t any monsters, you can conquer your concerns about money as well. Let’s look at five big financial fears, as well as how you can overcome them.
1. Unexpected Financial Emergencies
Suppose your car breaks down today, or your home’s heating system needs repair. Are you prepared to pay the bill? Many Americans aren’t. Only 39% have $1,000 or more in their savings to cover unexpected expenses. It’s not surprising that worries about a sudden urgent expense are keeping people up at night. However, this is one fear that’s easy to overcome. Simply start saving a small portion of your pay each month to build up an emergency fund. Deposit that money into a new account that’s earmarked for emergencies only. As the emergency fund builds up over time, this should ease your fears of being hit with an unexpected expense that you’re unable to cover.
2. Medical Expenses
Health-related concerns can be stressful. Uncertainty about whether you have enough insurance to cover a serious illness can cause fear and anxiety, and the constant political wrangling over the healthcare system itself can further exacerbate those fears. To overcome this, sit down with a healthcare adviser to discuss your current situation. A good healthcare adviser can help you assess the current health insurance you have and determine whether it’s sufficient for your needs. An adviser can also give you good recommendations for affordable health insurance to ease your fears about any future medical expenses.
3. Not Having Enough Money for Retirement
If thoughts about retirement have you scared silly, you’re not alone. According to a 2016 survey, 34% of Americans have no retirement savings. It’s understandable why retirement concerns stress people out. If you don’t plan for retirement, you’ll never be able to do it. Fortunately, this is another financial fear that’s easy to overcome. Talk to a trusted financial adviser and determine the best retirement plan for you. In many cases, it may make great sense to participate in your employer’s 401(k) retirement plan. However, if your company doesn’t have a plan, or you’re self-employed, you’ll have to look at other options. Whatever you decide to do, having a plan and beginning to save for retirement is a great way to overcome this fear.
The Great Recession, when the economy was collapsing and shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs, was truly a frightening time. However, many people continue to lack job security even now. According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, more than one in ten people fear losing their job this year. If you’re one of them, it’s understandable that unemployment fears may be keeping you up at night. However, you can mitigate the stress about job security. You can pick up a side hustle, such as driving for Lyft or Uber, so that a sudden job loss doesn’t leave you without any source of income. You can also start searching for a new job in a different, more stable career field. Finally, you can get smart on the various unemployment benefits you may be entitled to in the event you do lose your job; this will make it easier to ensure you have a minimum amount of cash flow right away if you suddenly find yourself unemployed.
Do you lose sleep worrying about the balances on your credit cards? If you do, you’re in good company, as the average American household now carries about $16,000 worth of credit card debt. High debt levels often lead to other problems as well, such as poor credit and an inability to cover monthly expenses. If your own debts are approaching frightening levels, you can tackle them. Debt settlement services, such as those offered at National Debt Relief, might be just what you need to get back on sound financial footing. Credit counselors may also be able to give you good advice about managing your debt. Finally, options such as debt consolidation may help ease the fears you have when you open those credit card statements each month.
Do you still have financial fears, even after reading all this? Here are a few questions and answers that may help you figure out how to overcome your money worries by Halloween!
Why do I have financial fears?
Money is a critical part of life, so it’s natural to have anxieties when it comes to your finances. However, if you find some aspect of your current financial situation particularly worrisome, chances are strong that it’s because you know you have some sort of shortfall. If that’s the case, look at your finances more closely and try to find a solution to address the problem.
How can I face my financial fears?
The best way to address financial fears is to admit that you have some sort of financial issue, assess the problem you’re having, and determine the best way to tackle it. Once you implement your plan, you should also gauge the impact any changes you’ve made are having on the problem, and then adjust accordingly.
What can I do if my financial fears are overwhelming?
When it comes to your finances, you don’t have to go it alone. If you have no idea how to address your current money woes, get help from a trusted financial adviser. A good financial adviser can help you assess your current situation and provide advice and recommendations to get you on sound financial ground. This should definitely help put your financial fears back in check.