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Managing Your Money

Fix Financial Problems & Reduce Money Stress Help take control of your financial problems and reduce your money stress with these 6 steps from Bank of America. Don't let financial stress get you down. financial problems, financial stress, money stress

6 simple ways to help address financial problems

Stop worrying about your finances and start fixing them—with help from these tips.

Money worries? You're not alone. Financial stress — from job loss, credit card debt and retirement — is the second leading cause of stress in America.Footnote1 Here are 6 things you can do to start solving your financial problems today.

  1. Make a list, not a snowball. Sit down and write out your financial stress points. Money problems can seem like those cartoon snowballs, rolling downhill, gathering speed and size, and making everyday financial transactions seem overwhelming. Instead, just focus on 2 or 3 financial problems you can manage now. Imagine how easy other financial matters will seem without these stress points in your life.
  2. Track your spending online. These days, with most banks offering online access to your accounts online, it's easier than ever to see where your money is going. Break down your spending and identify a few key things you can cut back. Then periodically check in to make sure you're on target. Bookmark your bank's homepage in your browser or download your bank's app to your smartphone so you can check your finances easily and often.
  3. Set a reasonable goal, not a wish list. Unless you win the lottery, you're not going to solve your financial problems all at once. So, based on the savings opportunities you identified in Step 2, set a monthly savings or debt payment goal for yourself that you can reasonably live with.
  4. Turn payday into savings day. Set up an automatic monthly transfer into your savings account so that a portion of your paycheck goes straight into your savings each month, ideally right after you get paid. That way, before you spend any of your paycheck on anything else, you've already hit that reasonable monthly goal from Step 3. Some employers offer the option to split your direct deposit between multiple accounts, enabling you to designate a portion of your paycheck to deposit to your checking account, and a portion to deposit to your savings account.
  5. It's okay to slip up. Hey, we're only human, right? Just make sure that it's not too often and nothing over the top. Going to dinner somewhere special for your anniversary? That's okay. Going on a European shopping vacation because it's Tuesday? Not so much. When you do go over your budget, commit to setting aside a little extra the next time you get paid.
  6. Make it a team effort. Explain your budget to family and friends. Ask them for ideas on how to save, and get their encouragement and support for sticking to your goals.