Everywhere you turn, the situation looks bad: debt, restrictions, and bills.
Money is one of the biggest stressors faced by Americans. In a 2015 report, the American Psychological Association found that money is the top source of stress, with 72% of Americans feeling anxious about finances at least some of the time.
It’s not surprising when those feelings of stress turn into fear about facing your money problems.
I know there have been times in my own life when I experienced fear of money. Maxed out credit cards, concerns over how I’d pay my car loan, and worries about living paycheck to paycheck dominated my life 10 years ago.
I was afraid to look at my bank statement and often put bills in the “later” pile rather than facing them upon arrival. It wasn’t always easy, but eventually, I got beyond my fear of money. You can get over your fear of money, too — here’s how.
Confront your money issues head on
The hardest step in conquering your fear of money is to confront the issues head on. Take a look at the financial red flags in your life and face your money problems. This is the hardest step because you need to look that fear in the face and be brutally honest about the situation.
You might not have to face the problem alone, however. If you have a good support system, consider asking someone you trust to look at your financial situation with you.
It’s also possible to benefit from the help of a financial professional. If you can’t face your money situation, gather everything up and take it to a devoted loved one or unbiased third party who can break the news to you.
In my case, my then-husband faced the financial situation with me. We both had financial problems from before the marriage, but getting those out in the open and looking at the realities of the situation together brought us strength. Sometimes it’s easier to do something scary when you’re not alone.
Take a look at the issue. Acknowledge the challenges. Be real about it. Once you know where you stand, it’s easier to take the next steps toward getting over your fear of money.
Create a plan for your money
Once you know where you stand, create a plan for your money. If you have a lot of debt, put together a debt reduction and payoff plan. If you want to save for a specific goal, make a plan that allows you to incrementally save up for what’s next.
Put together a spending plan that reflects your situation and how you want to get out of it, whether you need to make sure you have enough for bills each month or you want to demolish your student loans as quickly as possible.
When you have a plan, you’re more likely to feel better about the situation. A Transamerica report on retirement found that survey participants were more likely to say they would retire with a comfortable lifestyle when they had a written plan.
This applies to most financial plans. When you have a written roadmap, you’re more likely to feel optimistic about what’s next. Plus, having that plan written out can help you see, step-by-step, exactly what needs to be done next. That can help you move forward without fear.
The act of creating a plan forces you to think about solutions to your problems and create a timeline for accomplishing your goals. Get professional help if you need ideas for overcoming some of your thornier financial issues, and make sure your ideas are realistic.
Once you have that roadmap, you can follow it to get a better handle on your money.
Focus on your progress
Are you bogged down in the negative aspects of your finances?
Take some time to focus on your progress. Constantly living in a negative mindset results in fear and worry. While you do need to confront your issues and be real about where you stand, you also don’t need to dwell endlessly on your mistakes.
Look at how far you’ve come. Did you reduce your debt by $100 last month? That’s a victory!
When I looked at my own spending a few years ago, I realized I was paying automatic subscriptions I didn’t even use and made it a point to cancel those subscriptions. Rather than beat myself up about how much money I wasted on those subscriptions, I celebrated the fact that they would no longer be dragging me down.
Yeah, it was silly not to notice them before. But in the end, I remedied the situation. That financial progress was worth celebrating, and I turned the focus to the fact that I had an extra $75 for my use each month.
Overcome your fear of money
As you make improvements to your net worth, pay down your debt, or find new ways to make money, focus on that progress. Simply putting a plan on paper and taking that first step on the roadmap is progress — and a cause for a little positivity.
You might be surprised at how your outlook on money changes as you move forward. Confront your issues, make a plan, and focus on your progress. Pretty soon, you’ll look forward to checking your account balances online.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|