What are you most afraid of when it comes to your finances? Not being able to pay your bills? Living paycheck to paycheck? Maybe it involves not being able to go out and keep up with your friends who make more than you. Whatever your money fears may be, most Americans are in the same boat.
In fact, 72 percent of Americans reported having stress due to financial concerns, according to the American Psychological Association, and this is the eighth straight year that money leads as the number one stressor.
At Meed, we aim to free your mind from undue financial stress, so we’ve listed the top three money fears keeping people up at night, along with some ways to tackle them!
Fear #1: Losing Your Job
Receiving a pink slip is a real and understandable fear, but fortunately the job market has bounced back considerably since the Great Recession. Unemployment is currently sitting at 5.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor.
And the best antidote to fear is action: Take a proactive stance by staying one step ahead. Update your resume every quarter and maintain a competitive edge by taking continuing education courses to keep your skillset relevant.
You can also look for the silver lining: Losing your job could be a blessing in disguise. Those who stay in their jobs longer than two years end up making an average of 50% less over their lifespan, according to Forbes. So it’s likely you’ll end up making more in your next position anyhow.
Fear #2: You Can’t Afford Your Student Loans
The class of 2015 is very familiar with the concept of debt. The average borrower was left with $35,000 in student loan debt upon graduation, and 71% of graduates are borrowers.
Luckily, there are a number of repayment resources available. Put your fancy, college-level research skills to work and see what you can qualify for. Direct Loan borrowers can qualify for the new REPAYE Plan, which enables them to cap their monthly loan payment at 10% of their monthly discretionary income.
Fear #3: You Will Never Have Enough to Retire
For many American workers, the biggest fear is what happens when they’re no longer able to work. Many are nearing retirement-age with too little saved to live comfortably. And while some may opt to postpone their retirement, others won’t have that option, due to ailing health.
The key, regardless of your current age, is to start saving now, and put a plan in place now. First things first, create a budget, and set a goal of having an emergency fund in place within one year’s time.
And don’t forget: Never leave money on the table! If your company offers an employer-based retirement-saving plan, take full advantage of it.
Lastly, live within your means. If you earn $4,000 each month, don’t spend $4,500. It sounds simple, but it works. Keeping your expenses low will alleviate many of the other money fears you have.
Now go out there and get ahead of your fears! Tackle them proactively, and you’ll gain some peace of mind, after all.