No More Money Stress!
Send your financial worries into recession with these keep-calm tips
News headlines drum a daily dirge of bad times and worse to come: stagflation, home foreclosures, layoffs. When the very things that define us our jobs, our homes, our futures seem imperiled, naturally we feel insecure. But no matter how fearful you may feel about your financial future, "never, ever allow yourself to panic," counsels Kathleen Gurney, Ph.D., president of Financial Psychology Corp.
"You have to remain positive," she explains, because anxiety muddies your ability to think through problems clearly. Panic fuels rash decisions that could cost you much more in the long run than those made after careful deliberation. If you've plunged into a financial funk, just take a deep, serenity-bestowing breath and follow these guides to regain control.
Get a grip!
List your concerns on paper and then ask yourself, "How realistic is this fear?" Not sure? Ask trusted loved ones whether your worries about the poor performance of your 401(k) or your terror of becoming a bag lady are justified.
Attack saving money as a family
Establish weekly money meetings to discuss the family's finances and to identify strategies on how to cut costs. Give the kids a vote in decisions on what can be sacrificed. Also, solicit their ideas on how to have fun together inexpensively. If the older kids grouse about cutbacks, ask them how they might be able to afford the things they want. (Hint: j-o-b!)
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