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Start Facing Your Financial Fears

financial fears

Do you have financial fears? I recently read that it’s common for people to name some form of a financial fear as the thing that scared them most. There are many financial situations that make one’s heart beat faster and bring on mild feelings of panic. The “what-if” scenarios are the ones we tend to dwell on, wondering if we can handle such a situation and what we will do when/if the time comes. For many of us, this “what-if” scenario has become a reality over the past few years. Some of us have been lucky enough to avoid the situations we fear the most, but we live with an awareness that the situation could change.

The top financial fears many of us have include:

  • Unemployment
  • Medical Debt
  • Car emergency
  • Being unable to pay your credit card bills
  • Loss of a home

At it’s root, fear means you have an awareness that something bad is about to, or could happen to you. For instance, you hear a story about a friend’s boyfriend being in a car accident, and you start to wonder when an accident, medical issue or other unknown disaster will happen to you. Fear isn’t BAD, our emotions help us gauge whether we have a deeper problem to work through. If you’re living with a lot of financial fear, perhaps it’s time to take some practical steps that will allow you to put those fears to rest.

One way to diffuse your fear is make sure that you have a plan in place to deal with the situation if it should occur. It’s impossible to predict when or if something bad may happen, but you can be prepared if it does.

Have a Plan to Combat Your Financial Fears:

Some simple steps taken now can prepare you to feel far more secure in the face of financial uncertainty. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Have a budget in place and follow it. If you are used to keeping tabs on what comes in and what goes out of your bank accounts each month, you can make wise decisions to evaluate whether you’re living within your means—and in a sustainable way should something unexpected occur. Having a healthy budget is the first step towards a secure financial future.
  • Build an emergency fund  so you have a cushion to cover in any emergency event.
  • Review your insurance coverage to ensure that you are fully covered in the face of a variety of situations.  For example, does your homeowners insurance cover a natural disaster like a flood? Do you need to opt for a different health plan to ensure that you don’t have high out of pocket expenses?
  • Keep your job skills and resumes up to date. Learning is always a good idea, whether it’s for your own personal development, or to make you more desirable to future employers in the event of a job loss.
  • Keep your financial documents up to date and organized. If an emergency happens, my financial records are clean and organized. It’s wise to keep a list of contact numbers for all of your creditors and important financial vendors (like insurance agents).
  • Have a communication plan. Know who you would need to talk to if something happened in your financial world. In the event of an emergency, creditors are often willing to work with you if you contact them to explain your situation and try to get something worked out as soon as you can rather than waiting until you have defaulted on your loan or missed payments.

What are your financial fears? What strategies do you have in preparing for or dealing with such situations?

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. ​Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.

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