April is Stress Awareness Month, as well as Financial Literacy Month. If you are looking for ways to reduce your financial stress, here are some ?back to the basics? ways to improve your money situation.
We all feel the pinch in our pocketbooks at some point. That financial stress can start to wear on your everyday life and your relationships. If you want to reduce your financial stress, it makes sense to get back to the basics of your finances. Here are 5 ways to reduce your financial stress:
1. Save for a Rainy Day
One of the best things you can do to reduce your financial stress is to be ready in the event of an emergency or financial setback. Open a savings account and start setting money aside for emergencies.
There are a number of banking options available to you. Discover?s online savings account offers a low $500 minimum deposit, and no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees. This is a good way to kickstart your rainy day fund. Make sure your savings account is FDIC-insured, and that you can access the money quickly and easily in the event of an emergency.
Even if you don?t think you have enough to start saving, get started. Develop a habit of setting money aside, and as your savings account grows, you will be able to handle car repairs or replace appliances without stressing about money.
2. Reduce Your Debt
The feeling of obligation is one of the worst in the world. When you are drowning in debt, you don?t have control of your finances, and that can be stressful. Put together a plan to pay down your debt so that you can enjoy financial freedom. Your debt pay down plan should focus on high-interest debt first. You?ll be surprised at what a difference it can make to pay down debt. Even if it takes some time to pay down your debt, just having a plan that you can stick to can reduce your financial stress.
3. Create a Plan for Your Money
Do you know where your money is going? Have a plan for your money. Make it a point to figure out what you want to accomplish with your money, and then direct your financial resources in a way that matches your priorities. Often, financial stress comes from not knowing where your money is coming from, and where it is going. Create a plan for your money so that each dollar has a job, whether it?s shoring up your retirement account or helping you enjoy a vacation. A plan puts you in control of your money, and that sense of control will reduce your financial stress.
4. Invest for the Future
There are a number of excuses that can keep you from investing. Don?t let those ruin your future. In fact, once you understand the power of long-term investing, you will be more likely to use investing as a tool to help you reduce your financial stress.
Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth over time. If you want to beat inflation, prepare for retirement, help fund your child?s college, and meet other long-term financial freedom goals, you need to invest. It doesn?t matter how little you think you have. Chances are that you can begin investing. Get started, and you?ll feel good about taking a positive step for your financial future.
5. Obtain Proper Insurance Coverage
Worry about what will happen to your finances in the event of a natural disaster or some other accident can cause stress in your life. Proper insurance coverage can reduce your financial stress by allowing you to feel secure knowing that you can handle most of your problems.
The right homeowners or renters coverage allows you to feel secure about your living space. Your auto insurance ensures that you can afford another car if your current car is totaled. Health insurance protects you against unexpected medical catastrophes. Life insurance provides you peace of mind, allowing you to know that your family?s finances will be covered.
Any stress can weigh on your health. Take steps to reduce the stress in your life, including the financial stress that you feel, and you will be happier and healthier.
Disclosure: This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for Discover Financial Services. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by Discover Financial Services.