What is this whole business of making money about? How much money do you really need? The answers to these questions depends on your lifestyle and what your material needs are. It is often said that money is not the most important thing in the world. For many people, however, it is right up there next to air in importance. These are not necessarily overly-materialistic people. Rather, they simply understand the true value of money. Money, in and of itself, is not very spectacular. What money can do for you is what is really important. Money gives you freedom and choices. You can decide where and how you want to live when you have a good income or financial resources. On the other hand, when you do not have much money, choice may be something that you cannot afford. The choices available to you may not really be choices at all.
Obviously, you need money to cover your basic expenses: food and shelter. Beyond that, how much money you n...More
Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!
How can I manage my stress during tough economic times?
- More Americans are feeling additional stress and anxiety about their financial future.
- Like most of our everyday stress, this extra tension can be managed.
- The American Psychological Association offers these tips to help deal with your stress about money and the economy:
- Pause but don’t panic. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, but refrain from getting caught up in doom-and-gloom hype, which can lead to high levels of anxiety and bad decision making.
- Identify your financial stressors and make a plan. Take stock of your particular financial situation and what causes you stress. Write down specific ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your finances more efficiently and then commit to a specific plan and review it regularly.
- Recognize how you deal with stress related to money. Be alert to these behaviors—if they are causing you trouble, consider seeking help from a psychologist or community mental health clinic before the problem gets worse.
- Turn these challenging times into opportunities for real growth and change. Times like this, while difficult, can offer opportunities to take stock of your current situation and make needed changes.
- Ask for professional support. Credit counseling services and financial planners are available to help you take control over your money situation.
What financial issues should I be knowledgeable about?
- If you want to keep your spending under control, it's essential that you make a budget. A budget allows you to get a handle on the flow of your money -- how much you make and how much you spend. With that information in hand, you can make intelligent choices about what to buy with your hard-earned cash.
- It's important to know how to avoid overdrafts and make informed decisions regarding the purchase of courtesy overdraft-protection or bounce coverage plans.
- Bankruptcy is a legal strategy wherein you declare that you are unable to meet your financial obligations and those obligations are waived (in part or in full) by the court. Bankruptcy should always be your last resort because it is terribly damaging to your credit.
- Personal loans differ from credit cards in that they are not considered revolving accounts. That is, there are set number of payments, called installments, needed to pay off the loan and the loan balance does not increase like it would on a credit card account.
- Learn frequently asked questions about how to improve a poor credit rating so your next credit check is better.
- The few minutes you spend reviewing your bank statement could save you hundreds of dollars and help protect other consumers.
- The FDIC’s Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum helps youth ages 12-20 learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions.