Whether your job has been affected by coronavirus health concerns over the past year or you have experienced more than the usual unexpected expenses such as replacing a leaky roof or other home repair or auto expense, it’s normal to occasionally have feelings of concern about your finances. If you are struck with a pervasive feeling of panic about your financial situation, you may be suffering from what Oprah magazine calls Money Anxiety Disorder. Money, or rather a lack of enough of it to cover your basic monthly living expenses is a chief cause of this complaint.
But often that’s only part of the problem and whether you’re feeling a full blown panic attack over your finances or just some general anxiousness, here are tips to help you feel less panicky about money and have more peace of mind and security with your finances.
Identify the Cause of your Financial Woes, then Map out a Plan
What is the cause of the financial stressors you’re facing? Are you spending more than you earn each month? Have you done a lot of online shopping and have maxed out your credit cards? Did you have an unexpected home or medical expense and you didn’t have enough money in your savings account?
Try evaluating your situation objectively and without letting your emotions factor into your judgement. Look at things as if you were an outsider looking at your spending and saving habits. Then, write down what is causing your financial stress and make a commitment to a budget or plan that will tackle the issue.
Call the PFCU Loan Department at (909) 594-1866 for more information or click here to apply for a PFCU Home Equity Line of Credit.
Lean in to Resources that can Help
In spite of your best efforts, it’s easy for your finances to get away from you. Don’t be shy about using available resources to help you get back on track.
If your company offers a financial wellness program as a benefit, take part in it. If you have some unexpected large ticket item expenses, PFCU is here for you with rates as low as 7.9% APR Visa.
If you need to learn more about personal finance and want tips on how to make smarter financial moves, read financial books or articles, such as those in Pacific Federal Credit Union’s blog.
To get an ongoing, clear sense of your income and expenses, use a personal financial management (PFM) tool to create and manage a budget, track your spending and identify ways to save and meet your financial goals. Click here to check out 7 Best Budget Apps from NerdWallet
Save for a Rainy Day
The best move you can make to feel more financially secure is to build up an emergency fund. Ideally, it’s good to have enough saved so you can live off the savings for up to six to 12 months if you face a serious financial setback such as a job loss or major health issues.
In fact, studies have shown that having an emergency fund is a better predictor of financial well-being than paying off all your debt, so start that rainy day savings fund!
Focus on the Good
While you’re planning for tomorrow, enjoy the benefits of living in the present. Rather than agonizing over your financial problems, take some time just for yourself. If you feel fear or disappointment about your financial situation, allow yourself to be ok with it. Be gentle with yourself and vow to do better. By focusing on any positive financial indicators, such as your student loan balance going down or the value of your home going up and leaning into the good, you will have a healthier outlook, you will feel more in control and have less anxiety over your financial challenges.
If you take steps to achieve and maintain your financial well-being, such as paying down debt and saving more, congratulations! But remember that it’s also important to stay focused and stay on track with those efforts.
As your credit union family, we want to look into your unique financial situation to help guide you in the way that best fits your needs. If you’re in need of cash, we’re here for you!(909) 594-1866