Happy Halloween everyone! Hopefully you get to enjoy some candy and fun tonight. Today's post is about financial fears, how they can affect your day to day life, and simple ways to ease your worries about some of these challenges. First, check out this infographic from a recent survey on Wallet Hub by John S Kiernan:
2019 Halloween Spending & Financial Fears Survey
As the survey shows, money was the top category that scares people (even over politics, yikes). With the biggest financial fear being unplanned emergencies, followed by lack of retirement funds. As a recent college graduate, there are many financial issues that can be cause for distress. Sometimes it seems like there are so many factors to think about when it comes to my money, it can be a little overwhelming. So, let's address a couple of common "fears" for young adults just starting out.
With a small paycheck coming in, sometimes it can seem like spending money on "non essentials" is always a waste of money. This is especially true if you have a lot of bills to pay, debt, and high price items you are trying to save for. However, it's okay to treat yourself sometimes and spend money on activities that keep you happy. You risk burn out creeping in if all you do is work and stress about money. Make time to do things you enjoy and treat yourself occasionally.
Love doing stuff with your friends but not the price you pay to do it? This is kind of the opposite of the scarcity mindset. When you are young and see your friends doing all sorts of fun things and they invite you to do them as well, it can be hard to say no and miss out on the fun. If you are worried that you spend too much money with friends when hanging out, try suggesting options that don't cost much money. Hiking is an awesome option if you enjoy the outdoors, the weather is perfect for it right now. You could also try out a girl’s night where everyone brings wine and an appetizer. Those fun wine painting classes can be done easily (and cheaper) at home if you pick up a few supplies from the craft store.
Student loans keeping you up at night? Get all your loan information together and determine how much you need to be paying off each month. Research the best options for student loan repayment and work it into your budget.
When you are just starting out, the idea of having enough money to buy a car or a house can seem insane. Start by doing some research and figuring out how much you would need for your purchase. Then, set yourself a goal of how much to save and by when. Then, looking at your budget see how much you can reasonably set aside each month towards your goal. If you aren't able to set aside as much as you would like, the next time you get a raise, put the extra money from that towards your goal.
With any of these issues, including the first I mentioned, it all comes down to proper planning. Having a solid emergency fund to fall back on can ease a lot of worry. Starting to save for retirement at a young age (the younger the better) will encourage you to keep it up as you and your salary grow. Even if you can only put away a small amount each month, get into the habit of doing so. Review your savings plan when you get a raise or a new job and see if you can be putting any more away.
Fears go away when you face them head-on. The best time to start tackling them is right now. Happy Halloween!!