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AMERICANS ARE FINANCIALLY STRESSED

AMERICANS ARE FINANCIALLY STRESSED

AMERICANS ARE FINANCIALLY STRESSED

If your financial struggles are mounting and you find yourself consumed with worry about paying the bills, join the club. According to a new survey from CompareCards.com, a site that helps consumers select the best credit cards for their needs, seven out of 10 people have actually cried about their finances. Debt appears to be the number one stress inducer for Americans. Most of those surveyed said credit card debt was high on the list of their worries.

Following debt, the study shows unemployment, cost of living, meeting rent or mortgage payments and tight budgets were highly stressful for Americans.

None of this comes as a surprise, but some debts, such as medical expenses, are often unavoidable. Americans also reported worries about the stock market, student loans and vehicle expenses.

The good news is there are steps you can take to neutralize some of your financial worries:

  • Many Americans report they have not established a budget. Creating a budget not only helps you control the money going out, but it also allows you to consistently examine your spending habits and adjust them to your advantage. For example, if the credit card you accepted when it was promoted with a zero finance charge is charging you high rates after the first year, it may be time to transfer your balance to a new card or an existing card that has lower rates. If the cable TV deal you signed on to a year ago with free perks is now charging you high rates for premium channels or movie channels, you may determine you are not using those channels, and then cancel them. A budget allows you to take full control over your money, and constantly update your spending habits.
  • You may want to consider consulting a financial advisor. Trained professional advisors will often see some of your saving and/or spending habits as disadvantageous to you. Also, often an advisor can help you start saving or investing in products that may yield more profit for you than those in which you are already involved.
  • If you have a good credit history, you may be surprised to know that your credit card company may be willing to negotiate a lower interest rate. All you have to do is ask, and chances are the company will be willing to work with you. Check your credit score first to see where you stand. Also, calculate your total debt, because the credit card company will take a look at your debt to income ratio.
  • Examine your “wants” versus your “needs.” If you are spending a lot of money on dining out every month, it is possible it has become such a habit that you do not even realize the extent of your spending. If you are still paying for your adult children’s car insurance or other expenses, you may decide it is time for them to assume their own financial responsibilities. Sometimes we get so used to our expenses that we do not realize some of them are not necessary. These are personal decisions, but can be the key to lightening your financial load.

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