Worrying about money is natural. Almost everyone’s done it at some point. But worrying also could be a sign that there are serious problems you’re avoiding — a persistent little reminder that these problems are not going away. So if you’re finding yourself stressed about money this holiday season, there are a few ways to help you get your finances under control.
- Start an emergency fund. When you get your paycheck, do not immediately think about how you’ll spend it. Put a small amount it in a savings account for emergency use only, then add to it every month. The goal is to be able to cover three months of expenses. Knowing you have a few bucks in a savings account is huge! For even more security, add to it with another income stream. It doesn’t have to be a second job—sell your old stuff online or monetize a hobby, like freelance writing or photographing.
- Open a personal retirement account. Start now! An IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is one option. Another option is a 401(k). If your company offers a matching program for your 401(k), take advantage of it! Contribute the minimum to get your employer to kick in the same. You’ll be amazed at how that money will grow over time.
- Meet with a financial adviser. So, you don’t have to tackle your problems alone. I love the team at Fort Worth Community Credit Union. They’re professional and always willing to answer my questions.
Do these three things—build up your savings, open a retirement account, and have a financial adviser take a look at your whole financial picture —and you’ll be worry-free in no time!