3 Money Fears and How to Stop Being Afraid

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated December 9, 2019

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Personal Finance
December 1, 2015

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

It’s normal to have money fears, no matter where you are in life. Some people worry naturally, and many folks associate money with their problems. For example, money is a central issue in many divorces. Also, if your parents were broke and took on second jobs, they were likely to come home exhausted and stressed. While a respect of money is healthy, fears are bad — particularly when they make you put off dealing with money. Your situation just gets worse. Here are three money fears and how to conquer them.

Of course you want to avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Who wants that pattern of unpredictability and the feeling of barely getting by? You need a margin of safety.

To face this fear, you must understand your saving and spending habits. Take at least a month to track what you do with your money. Identify areas where you can cut spending, and build an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses. After that, you can start saving in earnest.

Few retirees (or soon-to-be retirees) feel comfortable asking relatives for money, and many are afraid their money will be gone many years before they die. The good, if cliche, news is that it’s never too late for you to begin retirement planning. Start saving what you can now, and talk with a financial planner about your retirement options. Stick to your budget to ensure that you’re in the best position possible in your later years. The more you know about your financial situation, the more you can do about it.

Debt certainly can seem insurmountable: Your mortgage, student loans, credit card bills and kids’ tuition all add up. To face this fear, set aside a few hours to list all of your debts: how much, from whom, the repayment schedules and associated interest rates. Simply understanding your debts and breaking them apart often makes them more manageable. Create a plan for hammering away at the debt while avoiding new debt. Give yourself deadlines to work with; for example, plan to pay off your mortgage in the next 10 years. Many folks set rewards like a trip as motivators to keep paying down debt.

Many people who are drowning in debt have a deep fear that their credit score will never recover. The truth is that time and some effort can help you easily raise your credit score. Here are a few things you can do to get your credit score above that fair or poor mark.

  • Wait: It takes only 7 years for negative items to be removed from your credit report, with the exception of some bankruptcies which take longer.
  • Pay your debt: The amount of debt you carry directly impacts your credit score, so the more debt you pay off, the higher your score will be.
  • Dispute: You can file disputes against negative items on your credit report through the credit bureaus. If those negative items are removed, your credit score can go up.
  • Hire some help: The best credit repair companies can help you file these disputes, and can even be more effective since they have the experience with these types of disputes.

Fears become much easier to face once you educate yourself. When you understand your money fears, they become more manageable, and you can work proactively to improve your finances.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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