Your 4 Worst Financial Fears
So what are you so afraid of?
Money can give us as much pain as pleasure. Remember our recent article about finance and mental health? We’ve rounded up the UK’s top personal finance anxieties and are standing by armed with proverbial cake and wine to offer you a few ways to put a positive spin on things when you’re awake at 3am fretting (ok we know that nothing really works for 3am anxiety, but our common sense solutions will make you feel better in the morning):
Having to pay for an emergency then running out of money
When the unexpected happens, we are all liable to throw money at the problem without thinking. But after paying for that expensive roof repair, or those last-minute tickets to visit your ailing auntie in Australia, medical bills incurred abroad, or repatriating the stray dog you fell in love with on holiday in Istanbul (ok maybe that’s not exactly an emergency), you can be left with a bill that’s ruinous. The simple solution? Check your insurance. Perhaps the credit card you used to pay for the service has in-built insurance as many do? And are you really familiar with the small print on your home insurance policy? You might get a nice surprise.
Not being able to get out of debt
Seeing multiple bills mount up would test the optimism of Mary Poppins. It’s easy to just push the problem out of sight and not open those mean-looking envelopes. But the best way to tackle this is to take baby steps. Just deal with one bill at a time (see our previous posts on this). By approaching repayments methodically, clear-sightedly (ie. not being in denial) and with a do-able repayment plan, you will, eventually, get out of debt. It might take many years, but you will feel so much better knowing that every day you’re getting closer to your goal, and not making those common mistakes that can actually increase the amount you have to repay.
Not being able to buy a home
Homeownership is one area of life that turns us all green-eyed monsters. It can seem like others have the perfect set-up when we go round to visit them all settled in their newly purchased homes. But look beneath the veneer and you might find those “happy homeowners” are in fact panicking about the money pit of a house they’ve just bought. Mortgage repayments, council tax, upkeep, not being unable to move for at least a decade because the market is unstable and the extra costs of buying and selling are prohibitive. We bet they wish they were still renting. Because renting equals freedom! It costs nothing to up- or down-grade to a different rental property as your needs change. The roof leaks? The boiler breaks? Not your problem.
Never retiring or being poor in retirement
OK, we left the worst til last. This is a real problem, so worrying about it is not silly. The only silly thing is doing nothing about it. We wrote recently about how dire most Britons’ retirement plans are, so the time to start thinking about pensions is NOW! By putting a little something away each month (or a big something, if you’re really willing to suffer now for later gain), you will feel so much better. You might not be able to fund a lavish retirement of cruises and cocktails, and in fact it’ll be great for your personal development to make peace with that. But you will have the great gift of empowerment if you know you are DOING SOMETHING, however small, for your future.