How to Care {Not Worry} About Your Finances

An anxious heart weighs a man down… – Proverbs 12:25

Worry is just no good, guys and gals. We’re all victim of a little too much worry every once in a while though. And these crazy times we’re living in naturally create a bit of anxiety about our financial futures. Most of the time though, when we worry, it’s for things that (1) we cannot control (like our 401k balances), and (2) we do not understand. So, quit your worries because it does no good, and take some action:

How to Worry Less About Your Finances

Understand Your Finances – Has it been a while since you reviewed all of your account balances or credit reports? Well, it’s the beginning of a new year and you’re worrying, so take some time soon to really get a firm grasp on your financial situation. I keep a one-sheet, dashboard-style excel file with all my account information. It really helps me. Doing that or plugging into an online program like Mint.com will help you see your financial life in one spot and ease your fears of the unknown. Credit reports can be obtained free from annualcreditreport.com.

Make Sure You’re Adequately Insured - If you’re properly insured, you lessen the chance that a major event will knock you off track and leave you in more debt. You should review your insurance policies annually to understand how you’re insured on your health, home, cars, and life (if you have dependents). See 3 Costly Myths About Insurance (@ MSN Money, by Liz Weston).

Secure Your Main Source of Income and Diversify - We’re all worried about layoffs to a certain degree. So become the all-star player at work. Get there early and stay late. If there was ever a time to do your best work, it’s now. But if you really think a layoff is about to happen, it’s time to take action. You want to start preparing today. Get an account on LinkedIn and start networking. Polish up the resume and begin investigating job openings. Get a feel for your job market and consider other cities.

Also, consider creating a second stream of income as a backup. It could be from a part-time job (deliver pizzas), odd jobs (list your services on craigslist.org), or even an online business (start a blog). This extra income can then be used to pay off debts and increase your savings.

Get Rid of the Excess Debt – Stop worrying about your excess debt and get rid of it. Here’s your plan to be debt free. Having a plan will make you feel better instantly.

Stash More of Your Cash - I couldn’t do a post like this without mentioning the bread and butter to less worry: having more money. Having a few months or more of living expenses saved up will give you more peace of mind. Start an emergency fund.

Increase Your Financial Knowledge – Every time we break out the vacuum cleaner and our cat goes crazy, I’m reminded that a lack of understanding creates a bit of fear. Instead of acting like a spaz cat every time a complex financial topic comes up, take the time to gain some basic understanding about the subject. I’m by no means an expert, and much of what I do know has come from personal finance books or the personal finance blog-o-sphere.

So tell us, what are you doing to worry less about your finances?



Last Edited: February 18, 2012 @ 1:27 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. vilkri on lower debt says:

    I have to admit that I not only care about my finances, but I also worry about them. The current economic crisis is bad enough to scare anybody. By the looks of it, nobody really has a handle on it. All kinds of things can get even worse than they are right now. I want to be aware of and prepared for an even worse scenario. Sorry, but I am worried. I think many of the old rules of personal finance will not apply in the future. One rule will hold true through all times though: spend less than you make.

  2. Hi @ptmoney,

    Chelsea from Quicken Online here. Thanks for your tips, they’re unique and helpful, especially about revisiting if you’re properly insured. I think as we make major life changes, or even minor ones like taking the train to work instead of driving each day, this is especially important.

    I wanted also to mention QuickenOnline.com. With our redesign in November, we integrated forward-looking features, like the spending outlook chart. Quicken Online identifies your financial obligations and bills over the next couple of paychecks to help you gauge that “what’s left” number. Also free!

    - Chelsea, Quicken Online

  3. Well my Hubby has been out of work for 3 weeks now. Thanks to our emergency fund we can live for another 8 weeks before we’re destitute.

    We have no consumer debt, we rent, we have an investment property loan that costs us $550 a month. I went for a job interview yesterday that would not even cover our rent and investment loan. It would, however, extend the time until Hubby would have to find a job.

    We can’t get benefits yet because the company has gone into administration and we need to “wait” for them to sort out termination paperwork, bla bla bla.

    Sorry, I’m worried. Come the end of February we’re looking at moving in with our in-laws because we won’t be able to afford our own place then.

  4. Oh, and I meant to add, I have already cut our expenses by $600 a week. There’s not much more I can cut out.

  5. @Chelsea – Thanks for stopping by. Btw, I’m planning on signing up with Quicken Online in 2009 so I can do a review here on the blog.

  6. @Kin – I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I pray that you and your family are able to get back to work soon and/or stabilize your income with benefits. Great thing that you had an e-fund built up. I’m sure you guys will land on your feet.

  7. If you have everything under control, you won’t worry about the situation. That is true in any phase of live and personl finance is no exception.

    If you are constantly worrying about where your next bill payment is going to come from, you need to take control by making yourself smarter about your finances and solutions. PT Money is always a good place to start.

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