How often do you worry about money? Once a week? Once a day? All of the time? Worrying about money isn’t only a waste of time, it’s unhealthy, because as you worry, you put unnecessary stress on yourself. So if money worries are keeping you up nights or interfering with your life, keep reading for tips on how you can get back in control!
A few years ago I was laid off from my job. For many people this can and will be a most stressful situation, especially if you’re the primary provider for your family and you have failed to plan or under planned.
As an independent contractor I expect to be let go when my project ends. It's one of those no-brainers of consulting. But like many people, I fell short when it came to planning for the downtime I would have between gigs. I received unemployment for one year, but after that well ran dry, I still didn't have a job or another project lined up. My failure to plan led to me constantly worrying about how I was going to pay my bills--even the basic needs--like rent and food.
But here's the good news, once I rebounded from that, I learned how to not fall into that pitfall again. And, you can do the same things I did to stop worrying about money, once and for all.
Establish an emergency fund. Everyone should have an emergency fund. It is recommended that you have at least six months salary in that fund getting to that benchmark starts with saving one-month's salary, and building from there. Even if it's adding only $10 more per pay period to your savings, do it. I recommend using ING high-yield savings accounts for your emergency fund, because it takes a couple of days to withdraw the money. Having money that’s easy to get to--but not TOO easy--will make you think twice about what is or isn't an actually emergency.
Pay down debt. The easiest way to get out of debt is to pay your bills. Avoiding creditors doesn't make the bills go away. If you have consumer debt, pick out an amount you can afford each month and apply it to your highest-rate debt using some sort of autopay. Repeat every month until it’s gone. This way you can forget about it and not spend time worrying about it.
Put bills on autopay. Paying your bills can be as easy as setting the autopay up through your bank to be a certain amount each month – and then forgetting about it! If you’re still writing checks and mailing them in, you’re creating a lot of worry that you don’t need!
Get organized. Keep all of your receipts and tax records going back six years. Have a file for these things, as well as bank statments and investments. When you need something, you’ll know exactly where it is.
Create a budget. One of the best ways to get money off your mind is to set aside specific blocks of time to balance your checkbook, budget, and pay bills. I recommend looking over your spending once a week, and paying bills once a month.
Just do it. When you spend too much time worrying about bills, you spend too little time taking action to make changes. If you are going to spend time worrying about money, why not use that time and get a side job instead or starting a home-based business? Kim has written some great articles on how to make money blogging and taking surveys:
10 Ways to Make Money Blogging
Make Money Blogging, Part 2
Make Money Monday: 3 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog
Keep the faith. Stand strong in your faith, and trust that your needs will be provided. But, don't use that as an excuse to not take action.
As you can see, with a little planning, you can spend less time worrying about money, and more time enjoying it.
Worry never climbed a hill, worry never paid a bill.
Worry never dried a tear, worry never calmed a fear.
Worry never darned a heel, worry never cooked a meal.
It never led a horse to water, nor ever did a thing it "oughter."
See you on the Millionaire Side,
Lisa Maria Carroll
Kim Crouch and Lisa Maria Carroll are on a journey to become millionaires in 365 days. They don't want to do it alone, so they're bringing you with them. You can follow them on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com