Financial Stress

Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association did a survey with 3,068 adults to get an idea of people’s stress levels regarding finances in America. They found that 72% of Americans felt some type of financial stress at least once during the past month. Of this group, 77% of parents and 72% of millennials (ages 18-35) report significant stress involving their finances. 

This survey was definitely not surprising to me as I could raise both of my hands if asked if my finances cause me stress! I sometimes wonder why I ever wanted to be an adult! Thankfully my parents taught me from a very early age to know the value of a dollar and how to make smart financial decisions. Here are a few tips that I have found to be helpful:

1. Designate where your income is going to go. Sometimes financial stress comes from not having a plan. A simple formula to use is: Tithe (if you have religious affiliations), Pay your bills, Save some, and Spend some. Having a plan will allow you to know how each of your well-earned dollars will be spent that month. Additionally, do not spend more than you make. Yes, credit cards can be incredibly useful, but unless you can pay the amount off at the end of the month, you should really think before buying.

2. Pay Yourself. I used to struggle with saving money. After all, when you work hard, you also want to play hard! But I’ve come to realize the value in saving. Tomorrow is not promised to us, but it is very important to have money saved for emergencies or big ticket items that come up in the future. I like to call it “paying yourself” because although you are not able to use the money right then, it will be available later…and will be so worth it!

3. Invest In a Financial Advisor. Having a professional guide you through different financial options can aide in decreasing financial stress. I recently met with mine to discuss retirement…AHHH!...but I actually left a bit relieved knowing that I was being proactive instead of having to address the issue when I am older. Financial advisors can also recommend wonderful investment opportunities. It’s all about making your money grow!

These are just a few of the tips that can make all the difference in your finances. I hope you can put them to use!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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