Sunday, February 19, 2012

3 Solutions To Reduce Your Money Stress

stressed and worriedImage via WikipediaLife gives us an abundant amount of things to worry about. We worry about our kids, jobs, spouses, families, and just about everything else. According to the American Psychological Association, Americans number one worry is money. We think way to much about our debts, budgets, and especially our investments.

Stressing and worrying about your money causes you to make mistakes when you need to plan and supervise your finances. You need to find ways to reduce this worry.

1. Budget
The number 1 reason for money stress is you don't know how to handle your finances. You don't know how much money is coming in and also where it's all going. To fix this you first have to set up some structure of organization. It's no shame to be unorganized, most people are and it shows with their poor financial actions.

You need to set aside some time in a quiet place with all your bills, statements, check stubs, and pen & paper. At the top of the sheet write monthly budget. That's right we are going to make the dreaded budget for the month. At the top of the page list your total income for the month. Then list down the page all your expenses that you need to pay for the month. Don't forget to list expenses that you need to pay like once a year bills. List home insurance, property taxes, etc. Divide the bill by 12 and list the amount you need to save each month to meet the future payment.

Sit back and go through the list. You will see how much you make and where it is all going. Doing this process every month gives you a road map to ease any anxiety about your money. Any problems or issues will become apparent and then you will be able to address them. Worrying about your finances will cease to be a cause for concern.

2. Retirement  
Retirement is the number two cause of financial stress. When worrying about retirement do you picture yourself living in your children's garage surviving on cashing in aluminum cans. As we get older this worry seems to increase. Also when the stock market takes a nose dive and we see are portfolios drop by half the stress levels go through the roof.

Investing in general is a risky business at best. Appreciation of your portfolio is never guaranteed and if you like roller coasters you are a perfect candidate for the stock market. The first move to worrying less about retirement is having some money saved in the first place. That's why part of your budget has to include a monthly contribution to a 401k or IRA.

The other part of reducing the stress of retirement is having your investments diversified according to you risk tolerance. Having all your money in a narrow choice of investments only will lead to you losing money and causing worry. You need to find a balance between stocks and bonds. Also being very diversified in these to groups is important. With bonds you need long term, medium term, and short term. With stocks you need to diversify with international, small cap, large cap, etc. A great source for building a low stress, well diversified portfolio is financial advisor Paul Merriman. Check out his website at www.fundadvice.com.

3. Life
The last thing to do if you want to reduce stress is to take a break from your finances. After you set them up and become organized put them aside and live your life. Seek out new friends and experiences. Money isn't everything. Life is passing you by if you keep on the worrying track.


1 comment:

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