Are you feeling stressed about money? You are not alone. The most recent Stress in America survey, released by the American Psychological Association (APA), shows that money is the top stressor for Americans — over 70 percent report feeling stressed about money at some point in the past month.
The common signs are not surprising:
- You try not to think or talk about money.
- You avoid looking at your bank or credit card statements.
- You don’t know your credit score or net worth.
Employers know, too, that a financially stressed employee is likely to show signs, such as:
- Asking about a 401(k) loan.
- Requesting a cash advance or raise.
- Volunteering for extra work.
If you find yourself among the majority of Americans who feel financial stress, consider these three tips from the APA:
- Keep tabs on your money. As difficult as it may seem, this brave step is the first in getting your stress under control. Create a spreadsheet to show how much money is coming in and where it is being spent.
- Develop a spending plan. This is better known as a budget. A budget is not a plan for deprivation. It is a plan to achieve your goals. If you aren’t sure how to create a budget, take advantage of some of the worksheets and tools we have available to create a budget.
- Automate your savings. When you set up an automatic deposit into your savings or retirement accounts, the money is out of your reach.
The next step in getting your financial house in order is to educate yourself on the many ways that you can make your money work for you. Your employer, local library or credit union may offer free financial education programs.
For example, Hanscom FCU has a variety of financial education seminars taking place at our Burlington Branch. These programs are free and open to the public. For topics and registration information, click here.
We also offer free financial education in the workplace. Our Lunch and Learn programs cover a variety of topics, such as Retirement Income Planning, Understanding Your Credit score, Investing, Money Management and Identity Theft Protection. We bring our team of financial experts to right to your office, and we bring lunch.
To learn more, I invite you to contact me or click here for more information.