4 Financial Moves to Help You Sleep Better at Night
Have you ever spent sleepless nights worrying about your finances? Between battling debt, working to pay off a mortgage and planning for retirement, there is plenty to think about. But don’t let these worries keep you up at night — take action. Here are a few simple money decisions that will help you rest easy.
Track your spending and create a budget: Examine your recent bank and credit card statements. Be sure your current expenses are less than your income and make changes if you are spending more than you earn. Formulate a budget that covers all of life’s essentials without being so stringent that you cannot follow it. By creating a plan that will work for you and tracking your spending with a budget program (or even simply on an Excel spreadsheet), you can quickly assess if you are veering off course.
Create a path to zero debt: Paying off debt is difficult. You may feel like you’re not making much progress. Getting organized and making a course toward financial freedom can help you make smarter payment decisions. You can pay down your debts in a number of different ways. Paying off your debt with the smallest balance first can give you some momentum on your debt journey. By paying off your debt with the highest interest first can save you more money in the long term. Whatever your strategy, it’s important to form a plan and get started.
Establish an emergency fund: No matter what keeps you tossing and turning at night, there is always the chance that an unexpected expense is waiting around the corner. Growing an emergency fund of three to six months’ expenses will help you tackle whatever comes up in your life. Keep this money separate and do not use it for home buying, travel or education — those savings should be established in a different place.
Communicate your plan: It could be your family, your significant other, your parents or even a close friend — telling another person about your plan can help keep you honest. Financial stress can originate or worsen when you are trying to hide the truth from other people in your life. Sharing your plan and budget will help you stick to it and help others know how to be a positive influence.
Whether you are doing some late night calculations, saving a little for a rainy day, or working slowly to get your finances in order, a few changes can make a big difference. Take the necessary steps for your finances means during the day and you will find that you can rest little easier at night.