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Financial Literacy

Tips to Take the Stress Out of Saving

Young boy in red shirt and older woman in yellow shirt count coins on a table with a jar full of coins on it

Worrying and stressing about money isn’t a new thing. In fact, some might argue that it’s only increasing in the population. A recent study found that 72% of Americans stress about their finances, making it one of the most common areas of stress. With the added strain on the wallet during the holidays full of parties and gift-giving, stress levels can soar.

The good news is that there are many different ways to help reduce your stress pertaining to money. One of the most important first steps in dealing with financial stress is to acknowledge it. Unpaid bills, calls from credit card companies, and dwindling financial accounts only become more threatening when we keep them a secret. Be honest with yourself and that way you can make a clear plan for getting a handle on your money situation.

Listed below are some tips on how to stress less and save more.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget is a great way to know how much money is coming in and importantly, how much is going out. You might not know how much you are spending on food, groceries, or clothing unless you sit down and look at the facts and figures. Once you capture how much you’re spending, you can start to make a budget that fits into your monetary goals. Establish a budget that fits into your monthly income. You can look into a spending tracker or another money management tool to help you.

It can be hard to face the music and look into your spending but go into it practicing forgiveness. Don’t guilt yourself, just move forward.

If in Debt, Create a Debt Repayment Plan

Are you finding yourself stretched thin with a significant amount of debt? When debt takes over our incoming money, it’s downright impossible to save money. This can be made easier by establishing a clear repayment plan with your debt. Scheduled payments, even of a low amount, can acknowledge that you’re making progress.

Consider an Additional Source of Income

A great way to contribute to your savings is to provide more finances for your savings account. A new source of income can help diminish some financial stress.

Before committing to a second job or side hustle, make sure it will fit into your lifestyle and not cause more stress. Check out this article with some ideas on how to make money on the side, and maybe even make it a passion project.

Create a Financial Buffer

Oftentimes, financial stress is caused by little to no room for error when it comes to overdrawing accounts and overspending. If you’re finding yourself living paycheck to paycheck, there is a good chance you’ve been experiencing financial stress. One unexpended expense can throw you into a financial hole that is quite difficult to surface from.

Giving yourself a financial buffer or an emergency fund can give you supreme peace of mind. Making it routine to contribute to your emergency fund or savings account can create this buffer that may be needed when life throws you surprises.

Set Up Automatic Transfers for Savings and Investments

Take some of the pressure off yourself and set up automatic withdrawals. This ensures that money is being transferred to savings and investments without you having to carry the burden to remember. All you have to do is set up the automatic payments, and it becomes just like a bill or payment.

This can also protect you from yourself and impulse decisions. It keeps that money separate and often, you’ll find that you forget it’s happening and all the while, money accrues.

Get Help from your Highlands Community Bank Family

Asking for help can feel daunting, especially with financial situations that often carry a lot of shame, embarrassment, and helplessness. They can feel overwhelming and almost too big to handle on our own. If you’ve tried some of the above tips and still find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to your banker. A financial expert can help you create a plan and also help you feel like a team player and less alone.

During your meeting with your banker, they will go through the challenges of your unique financial situation. They will identify a manageable way to address the root causes of your financial stress and more importantly, they will help you come to a solution. This can be a great way to gain money management tips that can benefit you in the future.

Saving is Possible

Acknowledgment is power, and being honest with yourself about your finances is a great first step. Saving money is possible for everyone, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your banker at Highlands Community Bank! We are here to help you succeed!

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