4 Ways to Stop Losing Sleep Over Money Problems
If money woes have you tossing and turning until the wee morning hours, you’ve got company. A recent CreditCards.com report found that 62% of Americans are losing sleep over at least one financial problem. The top three financial worries are saving enough for retirement, paying educational costs, and healthcare expenses.
The good news is there are some things you can do to improve your finances and hopefully get some much-needed rest. We’re not saying your money problems will disappear and everything will be sunshine and unicorns (wouldn’t that be awesome?), but we are saying that being more mindful of your spending habits, setting boundaries, and staying disciplined can make a difference.
“People tend to lose sleep over things that they can’t control. The best way to feel more in control is to take action, even if it’s just something small. Make a budget. Cut back expenses. Start a side hustle. These things might not solve all your financial problems, but they might help you sleep better at night,” CreditCards.com’s Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz told The Cheat Sheet.
Here are four tips that may help put an end to your restless nights.
1. Let your kids pick up the tab for college
Yes, we said it. Anxiety surrounding the ability to pay for school expenses was one of the top worries that kept survey respondents up at night. We know helping your kids get through school has been a goal of yours since they were babies, but it’s time to put that dream to bed. (And while you’re at it, tell them they’ll have to pay for their own wedding, too). There are all sorts of scholarships and repayment programs available for college students, but there’s no scholarship for retirement. Put your emergency savings and retirement planning needs first. What good will it be if your child has a shiny, new degree but you have to go back to work when you’re 72? No matter how confused, sad, or angry your kids pretend to be, stick to your guns.
2. Create a budget
If you have no idea where your money is going each week, it’s time to sit down and take inventory. Start by writing down everything you buy for at least 30 days (even small purchases), so you can get a clear picture of where the money drains are. If you don’t like the idea of a budget, just call it a spending plan. It’s the same thing, but it will make you more likely to stick with the process.
3. Stop wasting money
Once you have your budget in place, your next step is — you guessed it — stop spending so much. It’s really easy to waste money on purchases you don’t need and may not even use. (If you go to your closet right now, you probably have at least two clothing items with the tags still on them.) Provided that you’ve followed the previous step, you’ll know exactly where your money is going, so you’ll be able to see where you can cut back on spending. So cut back.
4. Don’t give in to pressure to lend
The other side of the coin involves some boundary setting. Don’t let friends, or even family members, make you feel like you owe them. When it comes to money, it’s your choice what you do with your cash. Don’t feel pressured into lending money that you either don’t feel like lending or can’t afford to lend in the first place. You don’t owe anyone anything, so go tell Uncle Joe to borrow money from a real bank.