I recently found an old letter that I wrote to myself when I was very broke and extremely stressed. I wrote the letter and saved it so that I could look back and laugh. I knew that I would make it through that stressful time eventually. I was stressed because I needed to take care of the brakes on my car but I had no money! I was so scared that my brakes were going to give out on me before I had the chance to pay for them to be fixed. If I had simply saved some money in an emergency savings account, I could have saved myself the stress.
Money and finances are the top stressors according to the American Psychological Association. They recently released the Stress in America survey. According to the survey, 72% of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time. Millennials are feeling this even more; 75% consider money to be a significant source of stress. With April being National Stress Awareness month its time to find some ways to combat financial stress.
A Budget Can Reduce Stress
Organizing your finances can minimize the time you spend thinking about your finances. Once you have your bills in one place, your due dates scheduled, and as many payments automated as possible, you can relax a bit. A budget is simply a plan for your money, the income and expenses. Figure out where your money is going then automate the payments. Using an online banking account can help you manage your budget easily from anywhere at anytime. For example, Discover Online Banking offers an online savings account that includes a low $500 minimum opening deposit with no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees. This flexibility can help you manage your financial stress.
A Rainy Day Fund Can Reduce Stress
If I had taken the time to save a solid emergency fund then I would have felt less stress in my situation. For some people, just thinking about saving for an emergency fund can be stressful, but making savings a priority can help reduce stress. Here’s a painless way to save a quick emergency fund. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking to your savings. You can do this very easily in an online savings account. Choose a small amount, maybe 20 or 50 dollars and create a recurring transfer each month or every two weeks. Within a month you will have 40 to 100 dollars saved. As long as you don’t need that money in the first year, you can save a solid chunk of funds for your emergency savings account.
An Accountability Partner Can Reduce Stress
Getting organized and setting up a plan is the easy part, keeping up with that plan can be difficult. However, an accountability partner can help. Talk to someone that can encourage you on your financial journey. Write about your journey if you would prefer or start a blog.
Don’t allow money and finances to stress you out. Set up a budget, build a rainy day fund, and find an accountability partner to keep your stress levels low.
This post was created as part of the Discover partnership program.
Originally posted 2015-04-16 10:00:46.