Do you need a path to less stress? Maybe you need a sound financial plan.
Concern over money sits at the top of the list of things that stress most of us out. Whether making the mortgage payment, planning for retirement or just covering the monthly bills, people worry constantly about their financial fitness. Even in families with two incomes, there never seems to be enough money or time.
Unfortunately, the stress many of us feel about our finances may not be just in our heads. A wide range of anecdotal evidence connects money and health. Chiropractors report a correlation between back pain and financial problems, perhaps as the result of increased muscle tension. Psychologists cite arguments over money as a major factor in divorces. Meanwhile, a survey of more than 300 human resources directors found that 32 percent of managers consider personal financial problems the most pressing overlooked workplace issue.
While you may not be able to control the economy, or the ups and downs of the stock market, there are ways to boost your own financial security. As with every journey, relieving your stress over money matters relies on taking a first, small step in a well-developed plan. Here’s a checklist of what you can do:
- Save as much as you can. Rethink your priorities and only buy what you really need.
- Build an emergency fund. Aim for least three months’ income in liquid savings or a money market account.
- Make a budget. Get a realistic picture of your income and see where you can trim expenses.
- Think long-term. It’s never too early to plan for retirement or college expenses. The sooner you start, the more time your money will have to grow.
- Choose cash over credit. Only charge what you can afford to pay for in full when the bill comes due. Avoid high interest charges. Don’t take on new debt.
- Get insured. The best way to protect your family should something happen to you is with insurance. Do your homework by shopping around and comparing policies. Consider the Discount Tire / America’s Tire insurance products available for full-time employees if you are not already enrolled.
- Save for Retirement. Take advantage of the company-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan, which includes employee matching.
- Make a will. All adults should have one, especially if you have dependents.
- Contact a professional. Whether through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through an independent firm, or through any of the other financial resources available to employees, speak with a financial professional who can put you on the path to prosperity.
Our EAP is provided through GuidanceResources®. GuidanceResources can be reached at 1-844-285-1067, through the free GuidanceResources Now mobile app or register online at www.GuidanceResources.com. (See your Benefits Guide or contact the Benefits Team or your manager for the Organization Web ID.)