When it comes to stress, is there anything worse than financial stress? The pressure of paying bills, putting food on the table, or even just hoping that you have enough money left to put gas in the tank of your car to get to work that week… wow, it can just be overwhelming at times. I’ve been there myself and it’s a terrible feeling. I remember looking at my checking account and stressing over the fact that I only had $30.00 left to last until payday. It really changes your prospective on things.
For me, I knew I had to buckle down and squeeze out every dollar I could to make it until I got paid. The stress it creates to be down “to the wire” like that, is incredible. It was times like this that I knew I would be crushed if any type of emergency were to happen. I always told myself that I would get ahead and create a cushion, just for that reason.
I’m sure you’ve had times where you can relate. Financial stress puts an incredible burden on a relationship also. There is nothing worse than fighting over money issues. It’s sad because we seem to get caught up in these types of situations and somehow forget how truly lucky we are to just have each other and appreciate all the good things around us. How many good relationships have you seen go down in flames because of financial issues?
How do we turn the table on this type of stress? As I mentioned earlier, we work to create a cushion and save enough money to create an emergency fund. In my opinion, you need to save and maintain a minimum of $1000.00 in your savings account. You need to have at least this amount saved to cover a good majority of the issues that arise, and you need to have it in an account where you can quickly and easily access it. That’s why It’s best to have this money in a bank savings account. Better yet, set a long-term goal to have one month’s pay in this emergency fund, that would give you a nice security blanket! You will also need to start funneling money into other areas where you can actually get a decent return on your money, but for now you definitely need to have a savings account available first.
I assume (and hope) that you have a decent medical insurance plan. When I mention “emergencies”, I am really implying the majority of the issues are financial emergencies. Medical emergencies are a whole different animal, but either way, having money available for whatever reason is critical.
Once you get the cushion you need, the stress level will dramatically drop. This is the start of your financial success and the first stage to getting ahead of the game. Stay focused on this task, then start funneling money into other areas or investments. One step at a time, first thing’s first, get that savings account established then you can start looking to make some money on anything that’s left over. More articles to come on that!