The Marketplace Edison Research Poll published last week reveals that Americans are stressed out about their personal finances. In fact, according to survey results, anxiety over finances has increased from 2015, even though facts on the ground seem to indicate an improving economy.
What is causing the stress?
- Economic disparity: 71 percent of respondents replied that they feel the economic system is rigged, meaning that an increasingly smaller percentage of Americans are holding the wealth and keys to economic prosperity, while the rest of the country struggles to get by.
- Employment: Americans are anxious about losing their jobs this year and 62 percent said that it is nearly impossible to find decent employment in their hometown.
- Despondency: More than half of the respondents felt that the financial situation was much better for their parents’ generation and only 21 percent said that they believe the next generation will enjoy an improved situation.
- Global realities, such as Brexit and what that will mean for world-wide financial markets, the loss of America’s manufacturing industry, uncertainty over the upcoming elections and prospects for a new White House are also playing into the general condition of financial anxiety.
Nevertheless, there are some things you can do right away to ease your anxiety levels and get back to peaceful sleeping. Here are 3 quick tips to help you cool down your financial stress.
- Eliminate credit card debt. Now is the time to make a strategic plan for credit card debt elimination. If you are worried about losing your job, you want to be sure to have a soft landing, meaning as little debt as possible so that you survive until you land your next assignment. How much are you holding in credit card debt? Which cards are charging the highest interest rate? Pay those off first and put them away. If you can consolidate to a single, lower interest rate card do that. Or consider a credit card debt consolidation loan.
- Loans for bad credit. Maybe if you move, the job market is going to be more favorable and long-term, but you don’t have the money to relocate. A more reliable car could help you commute to a better job, but you don’t have the money to purchase a new automobile. You need a loan, but you do not have the best credit, or perhaps you have no credit history. Traditional lenders are not going to give you the most favorable financing terms, assuming they are willing to loan you money at all. But you can eliminate this stressor. Today you have access to marketplace lenders, such as peer-to-peer, which is an online platform that evaluates your ability to repay the loan in a much more favorable light. Everything is done digitally, you have a quick response and rapid access to your loan funds, payments are made automatically from your bank account, and because you are repaying the loan on time, your credit rating will improve.
- If you don’t know how much money is coming in and how much is going out, you are never going to have a quiet night of sleep. Unrealistic worries could creep in or you could find yourself suddenly facing a huge financial crisis. Budgeting is the foundation of financial freedom. It does not take that much time, and there are many online programs and smartphone apps to help you. Key is to track and monitor your income and expenses, to set realistic goals for savings and purchases, and to assess your performance at least once a year.