What are Americans most stressed about? Money! In a survey conducted by Northwestern Mutual, 44 percent of respondents said that money stresses them out more than work and personal relationships. If your wallet cries a little each time you spend five bucks on necessities, like TP and shampoo, you may think that having more money will solve all your problems. Turns out, that isn’t really true.
Americans stress over money regardless of how much money they have. Even people with high incomes stress out over money. Why? A poor money mindset and lack of savings is to blame. To alleviate money stress, put aside a little money each week to go toward savings and micro-investments. Let us show you a few things to help change how you think about money and break free of financial stress.
Learn What You Can Do to Get Rid of Money Stress.
More Money Does Not Equal Less Stress
Are people with more money less stressed? Not really. While those who don’t have enough money to cover the basic necessities of life might have less stress if they could meet their most basic needs, most people who stress over money don’t fall into this category.
In fact, higher income earners report having more stress overall than those who make less money. And during the recession, a lot of people with money were pulling their hair out as their portfolios shrank dramatically. They still had enough money to meet basic necessities. Yet it did nothing to eliminate their money stress.
The moral is that it’s not about how much money you have. It’s about mindset and how you manage your money.
How to Change Your Money Mindset
Where does all the stress come from? According to a recent Varo Money survey, most people are stressed because they don’t have an emergency fund. In the event of an emergency or unexpected expense, they could lose everything they’ve worked hard for or come very close to it. And the majority of the population is only a few hundred dollars away from throwing their financial plan off track.
The key to reducing “what if” stress is to change your mindset about money and begin to prepare for the future. Instead of looking at your money as a huge problem that you will never solve, start taking actionable small steps to remedy your situation.
Try these two ideas:
- Take your cut off the top. Set aside a certain percentage of your check and stash it into savings each week. You can set up your direct deposit so it happens behind the scenes. You won’t even miss it. Set aside as much or as little as you can. It’s more about finding consistency than it is stashing away huge amounts of money. Small, consistent deposits do add up.
- Learn to micro-invest. Money will never make more money if it just sits there. Put your money to work by investing it into micro-investing opportunities. Some will allow you to invest for as little as $5.
Once you have some money set aside, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Not only that, but you might even find more ways to invest.
Ways You Can Streamline Your Budget
What if you don’t have any money at all to set aside? Look for ways to streamline your budget and free up some dough. Have some streaming services you rarely use? Cancel your subscription and stash the cash. Go out for lunch instead of dinner when you want to eat out (it’s cheaper), and consider buying in bulk when you can, for lower prices per piece. Take advantage of your bank’s round-up option, which allows you to stash change back from purchases. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Any amount that you put away will take away some of your stress.