We worry about money from time to time. But there’s a difference between fretting over a larger-than-expected bill and spending a huge chunk of your waking hours stressing over finances.

Yet the latter scenario seems to characterize a significant percentage of working Millennials.
An estimated 28% of Millennials are experiencing so much financial anxiety, in fact, that it’s impacting their job performance on a consistent basis, according to a newly released Northwestern Mutual study. That’s more than twice the rate of the general population. I couldn’t find any stats with regards to Asian millennials.

If money-related anxiety is keeping you up at night, regardless of whether you fall into the Millennial category or not, there are steps you can take to gain more security.

Build an Emergency Fund

I’m sure you’ve heard about saving for a rainy day. My mum has always told me stories about how some people get into debt because they didn’t think about emergencies such as unexpected hospital or clinic visits. You should have three to six months’ worth of cash reserves no matter how much you’re earning

Spend Less Than You Make

Temptations can sometimes make us spend more than we make. A monthly budget helps so you know where your money is going and when you should cut off from spending on unnecessary items.

Become a Saver

Once you already have an emergency fund, it’s time to set aside some monthly savings. Early in my career (donkey years ago), I used to put aside about 30% of my salary after paying for car loan, petrol, meals, and some entertainment. I lived at home till I got married (it’s an Asian culture) so I managed to save a lot because I didn’t have any house/room rent to pay. Even if you are just starting out and you’re not earning much yet, put aside RM25 or RM50 per month and increase it whenever possible.

Create a Financial Plan

1.Take financial inventory- where you are right now
2. Define your goals- how much you want to have by a certain number of years
3. Create a budget and commit to surpassing your make or break number.
4. Categorize your goals and fund them with your monthly make or break surplus.
5. Increase income to allow for greater goal funding. Side hustle, baby!
6. Take a breath and celebrate your progress!

Stay Informed

You know when we were small and we thought if we closed our eyes, no one could see us? Well, this theory doesn’t work, obviously! The same thing when it comes to receiving bills. Who likes them? Those pesky things that arrive like clockwork. So what should you do? Pay your bills immediately or create a simple system — such as a desktop folder, online calendar, or app — to make sure you pay each one on time. And check your bank account balances daily to keep track of how much you’re spending, how much you’re saving, and whether you need to tweak your monthly budget.

Eliminate Debt — Especially Credit Card Debt
Seek Additional Funds

Credit cards. The root of evil when it comes to shopping on things you don’t need. It’s great for getting points, cash backs and rewards.

However, if you’re carrying credit card debt, it’s likely a source of financial stress — so commit to paying it off when it’s due. With interest rates rising, the cost of carrying credit card debt is only increasing.

When you have specific goals in mind, more money may be necessary. If that’s the case, think about how to bring in more cash.

You can free up money by cutting out nonessentials or buying less expensive items.

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