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How To Take Control of Your Finances

Are worries about money keeping you up at night? You're not alone. Survey has found that money is actually one of the top concerns people constantly worry about. Worrying won't solve any of your problems though, in fact, it tends to lead to even more stress and mistakes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your financial problems from overwhelming you.

Here are 7 ways to stop worrying and instead get your finances on track :

Understand Your Money Situation. You can get a better understanding of your money situation by identifying what are your assets — house, investments, savings —and what are your liabilities or debts. Once you know what you have and what you owe, it will be easier to identify what is your biggest problem and assess what needs to change.

Know Where Your Money Is Going. First, identify your necessary expenses — mortgage or rent, utilities, transportation and anything else you must pay each month. Then, look at your bank and credit card statements to see how much you’re spending on discretionary items — things you want but don’t necessarily need.

Get a Handle on Your Debt. List your debts and the interest rate on each. You should focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rate first, likely credit card debt;  so you’ll pay less in interest over time. If you’ve taken the second step to figure out where your money is going, you should know which discretionary expenses can be cut so you can allocate more money towards paying off your debt.

Set Financial Goals. To stop worrying about your finances, it’s not enough just to know where your money has been going. You also need to set financial goals. Figure out what is the ideal situation where you can consider your finances as being ‘on track’ and set aside extra money for these goals. Then evaluate whether your career and other financial choices you’ve made will help you meet these goals.

Educate Yourself About Personal Finance. You might be worrying about money because you feel like you don’t know enough about personal finance. However, gaining control of your finances doesn’t mean you need a degree in finance. But you do need to know what’s creating fear or discomfort for you.

Plan for the ‘What Ifs’. You can alleviate some of your financial worries by identifying your worst-case money scenarios, and preparing for them. For example, if you consider losing your job to be the worst thing that can happen financially to you, ask yourself what you should do to prepare for a job loss. Creating an emergency fund to cover expenses while you’re out of work is a good place to start

Get Help From a Financial Advisor. If you’re worried about your health, you are likely visit a doctor. If it’s your financial health that has you concerned, you can get help from a professional, too. You can hire a financial planner to help you with any of the above steps — from understanding where you stand financially, to setting goals, to creating a plan to reach those goals.