How to be less stressed about money: XL edition

Many surveys show that Americans are stressed about money. If you are part of the two-thirds of adults that say they worry about their finances, here's our guide for you to start putting into practice less-stress tactics.

1. Build A Financial Safety Net

If you’re feeling stressed about money, the first step to help you deal with it is to get into the habit of saving. Start by making a commitment to save a part of each paycheck and have the funds automatically deposited into a savings account. 

The secret to being able to do this is to build a budget that will work for you and start an emergency fund.

2. Start Investing

Investing isn’t just for Wall Street tycoons, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or capital to get started, and if you move from focusing on short-term goals to investments that help you achieve longer-term objectives, like saving for college or retirement, you’ll feel much less stressed about your financial future.

3. Analyze Your Regular Expenses And Bank Accounts

The “bucket approach” to budgeting is a way to organize your regular expenses and be sure which bank account to use for what.

This approach means lumping expenses into categories and creating separate accounts to manage each category. 

4. Use Digital Finance Tools

If you think budgeting could take more time than you have, technology is on your side. Using the right digital budgeting tools and apps can make money management much easier.

 Here are a few smart tips for tapping into them:

A) By using budgeting apps you can identify and then avoid unnecessary expenses.

B) Set a savings goal and then use a financial goal calculator to help determine what you need to save monthly to reach your goal. 

C) Use digital coupons and deal sites regularly. 

5. Get Rewards For Your Spending

Even if you’re feeling good about your savings habits, you may still feel stressed about money when you spend. This stress can be exacerbated when you’re spending on discretionary or “fun” expenses, even if they fall within your budget.

If you feel uneasy when you spend money on “fun” things, another way to stop stressing is to have rewards checking accounts and credit cards.

START INVESTING RIGHT AWAY!

As the US and international stocks suffer the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic crisis, many people refrain from investing their money. However, this is not what financial planners suggest. In fact, they assure that the recession offers great opportunities to invest some cash.

The key is to avoid short-term investments. So here are some tips you should follow to invest during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Financial experts assure that recessions are a great moment to start long-term investments (like stocks or bonds), even if you've never have invested in your life. They assure that creating everybody should establish an investment policy they should follow no matter what!

However, during a crisis, you should have a more conservative approach and analyze thoroughly the market's opportunities.

One of the most important things you should (always) do is to diversify your investment portfolio. To reduce the financial risk you should avoid putting all your eggs in one basket!

Bear in mind that you don't have to find only one stock or company to invest in, you can also start investing in a 401(k) or other retirement accounts.

START BUILDING YOUR EMERGENCY FUND

Elements such as unplanned for healthcare costs and natural disasters can put people at financial risk. Using your credit cards to pay for these bills may quickly build large high-interest debts.

If you have enough savings to cover 3-6 months of bills, this can help weather the storm and come out of a financial crisis debt-free. This is why an emergency fund is a need. Use these 3 useful tips to make your emergency fund efforts successful:

1. Keep Track Of Spending

Creating a budget isn’t all that complicated. You just have to write categories of monthly spending and amounts you spend, list all fixed-amount monthly bills (rent/mortgage, utilities, credit card debt), and list monthly payments with varying amounts (groceries, eating out, clothing). Hopefully, your income is enough that you can pay for these expenses and have extra money each month to put towards your emergency fund.

2. Consider Your Emergency Fund A Monthly Bill

When you plan your budget, add a line for your emergency fund. Put a fixed amount of your regular paycheck into a special emergency fund account. You can use payroll deduction or electronic funds transfer so it happens automatically each month.

3. Keep Emergency Funds For Real Emergencies

As the emergency fund grows, it becomes tempting to use it for other desires, but if you do so you’ll be back in the same dangerous position if a real emergency appears. So be smart and keep this money for when real unexpected expenses occur.
 

See also: "How to reach large financial goals" 

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