How to Address Your Biggest Money Worries

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Posted on 09/14/2009

You won’t have enough money saved for retirement. You won’t have enough money to pay for your kid’s college education. Heck, you won’t even have enough money to pay your cable bill next month. Sound familiar? We all have money worries, but most of us don’t have to. Here are ways to address your biggest money worries.

Worry: I Won’t Have Enough Money to Retire - It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much you make or when you plan to retire, you can start saving now. Address your worry by making saving as easy as possible. If your company offers a 401k, take advantage of it. Have the money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck so contributing happens without any work. Find out how much you will need for retirement by plugging in some numbers to this retirement calculator. Better yet, talk to a financial advisor to get an expert’s guidance on the best steps for your situation.

Worry: I Won’t Have Enough Saved to Put My Kids through College - There’s no doubt, college is expensive. Saving while they’re young is a good move because it will give your investment time to grow. Research 529 plans, the government’s option for setting aside money for college. Get your family involved. Ask grandparents or relatives to consider contributing to the college fund rather than spending money on extravagant birthday or Christmas gifts for your future scholar. Check out programs like Upromise, which puts money into a college savings account when you purchase a wide range of qualifying items.

Worry: I Don’t Have Enough Saved to Cover an Emergency - Take advice from financial expert Dave Ramsey. Do whatever it takes to get $1,000 in an emergency fund by the end of the month. Have a yard sale. Sell something on Craigslist. Pick up extra work. Do it fast and do it with intensity. Who knows—maybe you could even win the money for your emergency fund. Ramsey is giving away one stocked emergency fund a day through September 18! Once you’ve reached your $1,000 goal focus on creating a budget that works for you. Create a written plan that includes adding to your emergency fund every month. That way when an emergency does arise, it feels less like a disastrous emergency and more like an annoying inconvenience.

Worry: My Bills are Too High and My Income is Too Low - There are two ways to tackle this money worry. First of all, figure out which bills you can cut. Could you reduce your cell phone or cable bill? Are there memberships you can do without? Would refinancing your mortgage cut your payment? Once you lower your bills, figure out how you can boost your income. Do you need a second job? Is there a hobby that could translate into extra money? Could it be time to discuss a raise with your boss? Make a financial to-do list and as you start crossing items off, you’ll start to watch your money worries dissipate.

By Alison Storm

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