It’s normal to be worried about your money. In a recent Bankrate survey, 36 percent of the respondents said they are losing sleep over money concerns. Money matters don’t have to be nightmare-inducing, though. Here are five common financial fears and how you can overcome them.
Unexpected medical costs
Even with a solid health insurance plan, pricey out-of-network visits and increasing deductibles can be frightening. It’s important to not only have a solid health-insurance plan that will cover you in your worst-case scenario, but also to familiarize yourself with the terms. If you know what you will be expected to pay in the case of a medical emergency and where to expect coverage, you can better prepare.
General unexpected expenses can include medical costs and job layoffs, but also smaller costs like car maintenance or a broken hard drive. For unplanned financial emergencies, it’s important to have an emergency fund in place. Ideally, your emergency fund would cover at least six months’ worth of expenses, including insurance premiums, mortgage payments, groceries and utility bills.
Losing a job
Like other financial fears that stem from an inability to anticipate the unknown, some of the uncertainty around losing your job can be mitigated by establishing an emergency fund. It’s also helpful to have a backup plan.
Think big picture, especially if you work in tech or industrial sectors that are susceptible to layoffs. Ask yourself exactly how you would meet your financial obligations and establish a game plan.
Lack of savings for retirement
It’s never too late to begin saving for retirement. Evaluate your financial plan and make room in your budget for retirement savings. Take advantage of employer plans and catch-up contributions if you are eligible, and set up direct deposits. To get a full portrait of your financial health, including retirement savings, conduct a yearly evaluation.
Dragging debt to the grave
Between student loan debt, credit card debt and auto and home loans, we are increasingly living beyond our means. So what can you do?
Create a budget. Start with your highest interest rates and work your way down. Consider options like consolidation and balance-transfer credit cards. Make sure you don’t let your debt fears overshadow your savings progress, though.