I heard something today that didn’t surprise me. People worry over money. A lot. The American Psychological Association says money is the number “one” source of stress in our lives and has the potential to affect our health and well-being. The association even said this is spawning a new profession, i.e. financial therapists.
Ironically, the people who need financial therapy may not have the money to pay for it. That prompted me to wonder about free services like Consumer Credit Counseling.
Richard Reeve is not a financial therapist but he sounds like he could be. He is the financial education director at CCC. “Money equals stress in some ways,” he says. “A
lot of us have a family history with money. We all have some sort of relationship with money.”
He says usually what we find is that whatever the issue is and whether it’s emotional or a family issue, that getting a handle on our finances can hopefully help deal with some of that stress.
Reeve says the people he sees simply have too much debt. “We see a lot of folks that are stressed out they bury their head in the sand but they’re always thinking about it (what they owe and how they will pay it.)
He suggests first, making a family budget and that means involving the children. He says it’s okay to let your kids know you can’t buy everything they may want. “One of the things the studies have shown that teaching kids at an early age about deferred gratification actually leads to better money management later in life. It leads to higher savers and meeting future goals,” he says.
He also suggests writing down everything you spend every day for a month. He says it will be an eye-opening experience. You’ll see where all your money goes you”ll be able to identify any waste that you have and a lot of people end up realizing that they buy stuff they just don’t need.”
He also says you will never get a handle on your finances unless you write down every debt you owe and compare those monthly payments with your monthly income. “if it’s negative, no wonder you’re stressed,” says Reeve.
If you think you can benefit from financial counseling, you can can contact Consumer Credit Counseling at 912-691-2227.