Fears are powerful things. They can cause us to make do some crazy stuff. They can keep us trapped in a job we hate out of fear of not being able to support our family. They can cause us to pull our money out of the stock market after a crash due to fear of losing it all. They can even cause us to go into debt to buy things we don’t need for fear of not fitting in with our neighbors.
But fears aren’t all bad. Sure sometimes they can be irrational, but mostly fears let us know that something needs attention. Fears can let us know where our weaknesses are and when we address those weaknesses the fears will lighten up. If you have money fears that means something is out of whack with your money. Your fears help guide and motivate you to proper financial planning. There are three main areas of financial fear; income fears, debt fears, and savings fears.
Income fears could be in regards to fear of losing your income, fear of not making enough, or fear of not being able to find a job. Each of these fears is conquered in the same way, by diversifying your income. In other words, get a side hustle. Get a part time job or start a little side business. Money on the side will help you in so many ways. First and foremost it will help get you through if you get laid off. When you have more than one source of income your risk of losing all your income decreases dramatically.
Let’s say you walk dogs after work each day. What are the odds that you would get laid off and all of your dog walking clients quit on you at the same time? I’d have to say the odds of that are pretty close to zero.
A side job will also help you make more money, therefore reducing your fear of not earning enough. If the side job is in your field then it might also help you find that elusive full time job. Let’s say you are in IT. If you are having trouble finding a full time IT job then a side gig of helping friends and families with their computers would keep you up to speed on your industry. It also shows initiative. You could even have references from clients touting your skills. That little extra might set you apart from the pack and help you land that job.
Bottom line: a part time side job will go a long way to getting rid of your income related fears.
Debt and Savings fears
Debt fears fall into two areas. Fear of getting into debt and fear of never getting out of debt. Savings fears are always about not saving enough, because who is afraid of saving too much? Most are afraid of not saving enough for retirement or college for their kids. Not saving enough for emergencies should also be on this list but I think those fears show more as either debt or income fears.
Savings and debt fears can both be treated with a solid plan. Having a written budget and an emergency fund will quiet the fear of getting into debt. A written budget and a debt reduction plan, such as a debt snowball, will help reduce the fears of never being able to get out of debt. Seeing a plan with a set date for debt freedom will help you see that all is not lost. Finally, a written budget along with a solid savings plan will address the fears of not saving enough.
Bottom line: a budget and a written plan will silence your debt and savings fears.
What are your money fears? What can you do today to address them?