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Use Goals to Reduce Money Worries

Posted By Jim On 04/26/2011 @ 7:58 am In Personal Finance | 6 Comments

I know a lot of people who are uncomfortable with their respective financial situations. As the economy recovers, the spectre of losing your job or of some other financial disaster wiping out finances feels very real and can be a heavy burden on your mind. The fear of the unknown is one of the greatest fears we all share and can appreciate.

David Moehlman is a 44 year old schoolteacher who has over a million dollars in savings but is constantly worried about money and retirement [3]. With a million in savings and mutual funds plus another half million in real estate, you’d expect him to be someone who wasn’t constantly worried about his finances. Yet he is. He’s been called an extreme saver for some of his behavior, like always eating off the dollar menu at fast food places. More importantly, he “worries constantly about money.” Constantly worrying about something, be it money, health, or something else; isn’t healthy (neither is constantly eating at fast food places).

I find that the easiest way to stop worrying about something is to set goals. Instead of being “worried” about a very generic idea (retirement, losing your job, medical emergency), you can direct your energies towards something constructive. By focusing on an activity, all that nervous energy can be productive as you work towards a goal.

For example, let’s say you’re worried about how much you need for retirement. Instead of just worrying about it, why not work with calculators to find out how much you need to save. You may need a million dollars in your retirement funds, like Moehlman has right now, or you may need four? Either way, you know how much you’ll need and you can work on a savings plan to reach that goal whenever you retire. The key is to have a plan, with goals, so you can be productive with your worries and not just spinning your wheels.

Do you worry about money? How do you use that energy productively?


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[3] constantly worried about money and retirement: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-money-makeover-20110323,0,7626488,full.story

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