Americans worry constantly about money. Here are five simple steps that will help you reduce your money worries and help you achieve more financial freedom.
1. Budget! A budget is a money plan. Always be aware of your income and expenses, and how much is being saved. Keep track of daily expenses and identify which ones can be cut back. Determine if a second income is needed to save for the future. Emergencies happen so it’s important to have an emergency fund. It’s recommended to have at least 6 months worth of living expenses saved in case of emergency.
2. Reduce! Americans buy so many things that we really don’t need, and most of these things eventually end in the trash. Reducing and reusing and can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Consider buying used and saving the difference.
3. Recognize! There will always be people who have more and there will always be people who have less. Don’t fall into debt trying to keep up with the Joneses. Maybe they have the newest SUV but they could also be up at night worrying how they’re going to make the payments. Recognize that needs should be purchased before wants. There are millions of people throughout the world who barely have enough money to survive. Thoroughly enjoy everything you do have. If you have your health, you have great weather. An attitude of gratitude is a smart way to reduce worries.
4. Educate! Financial education is rarely provided in school, despite how important it is to our daily lives. So, it is up to you to educate yourself and be accountable for your financial decisions. There are numerous resources available to help navigate all of life’s financial milestones, but the key is to continuously educate yourself, and seek out advice. Don’t be shy in asking successful individuals for their advice. It’s better to ask a dumb question than to lose money because you were afraid to ask. Take in all the advice you can get and make the best decisions for you. Even the experts learn new things all the time.
5. Start now! It may feel overwhelming to finally take control of your finances but there is no better time than NOW. We can’t expect major changes to happen over night, but aim to take small baby steps in the right direction every day. Start saving NOW, even if it’s not a lot. Set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts. Automatically pay bills online too. Monitor your credit regularly. Set specific goals for saving, spending, investing and income. Once you get in the habit it will be easier to save regularly and you can watch with pride as your savings account grows.
I am confident if you take one or all five of these suggestions, you will reduce your money worries and increase your financial freedom.