Face Your Financial Fears
While kids may be scared of the monster under their bed this Halloween, for adults, many of our fears stem from our finances. Instead of hiding under the covers, let’s see how we can face these fears head on.
- Budgeting. The biggest financial struggle can be figuring out where our money goes. Budgeting can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Track your spending for at least a month to see where your money is going. FinanceWorks, our free money management program, easily tracks and categorizes your spending so you can see exactly how much money is going to your morning coffee versus your bills.
- Emergencies. Because we cannot predict when life will throw us an unexpected challenge, it is important for everyone to build and maintain an emergency fund with three to six months worth of living expenses. The key to building an emergency fund is to “pay yourself first” and set money aside every month, no matter how small the amount.
- Retirement. This is an easy fear to face, because it’s never too early to start! If you’re nearing retirement, try to hit the maximum amounts you can save or invest each year, and consider a catch-up contribution if you are eligible. If you’re further away from retirement, enroll in a 401k now and take full advantage of any contribution matching from your employer. Save frequently and steadily, and increase your contribution whenever you get a raise.
- Debt. It can be overwhelming to realize that your debt is piling up, and to worry that you won’t be able to pay back what you owe. To tackle debt, start with a budget and determine what you may be able to allocate to your debt in addition to what you pay now. Then, choose a plan and stick with it. Would you rather pay off your smallest debts first to see success quicker? Or do you want to tackle your largest debt to get the biggest burden off of your back? Additionally, consider ways to lower your interest rate like a personal consolidation loan.
With these financial tips, hopefully the only thing you’ll fear this Halloween are the spooky costumes coming to your door. Have a happy and safe Halloween!