Most of us suffer from financial anxiety, and it appears to be getting worse. As a 2016 study from Northwestern Mutual points out, some 85% of Americans reported feeling anxious about their personal finances.
Just what are these concerns, and how can we beat them? Well, according to a survey by GOBankingRates, most of us fear never being able to retire, “living paycheck to paycheck,” and being in debt forever. So consider the following:
If you don’t feel well prepared for retirement, you’re not alone: according to the Economic Policy Institute, more than 40% of individuals aged 55 to 64 have no retirement savings. But you can catch up. Discuss your situation with an advisor; put the maximum into 401(k) plans, IRAs, and research annuities.
Paycheck to paycheck
You also aren’t alone if your monthly expenses keep you from saving for emergencies. A recent study by GOBankingRates showed 69% of US adults have less than $1,000 saved. Put a little money aside each month until you have enough of a safety net (usually three months’ worth of living expenses) to cover an emergency.
Try to reduce some of your expenses-perhaps by packing lunches instead of eating out, or taking advantage of free events. Small things add up.
You might consider getting a second job, even temporarily. According toBankrate.com, 36% of people who have side jobs earn an extra $500 a month.
If you fear forever being in debt, start by paying off some of those debts you already have. Compile a list, and determine which have the highest interest rates. Start paying those off first, a little at a time, and work your way down, using the money from cutting expenses and working on the side.
With these suggestions, it is possible to get ahead of your financial fears.