How To Squash Your Nagging Money Worries

January 6, 2012

Do you ever go to bed at night worrying about money?  If you’re anything like my wife then some of those worries can keep you tossing and turning all night long. 

The simple answer to get rid of those worries is to tackle whatever concern is nagging at the back of your mind.  Unfortunately, life’s not always that simple.  Whether it’s work, family, school, or other responsibilities – life is busy and it’s tough to make time to get things done.

Running the Rat Race

I know before we had kids, I worked long hours at my job while going back to school for a Master’s degree.  Then we started a family and I launched this site and I haven’t slept a full 8 hours since : )

I’m sure you could share many similar stories, there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done that you’d like. The crazy thing is we work hard to earn a good salary and make a good life for ourselves and our family but often we don’t make time to take care for ourselves financially.

I could be wrong.  If you don’t have any outstanding financial to-dos then congrats to you and please let me know in the comments below.  But based on everything I’ve observed in my adult life, most of us have outstanding things we need to tackle when it comes to our finances.  Like what?

  • Paying Off Debt
  • Creating a Retirement Plan
  • Building an Emergency Fund
  • Creating an Estate Plan
  • Buying Life Insurance
  • Rolling Over a 401k
  • Opening an IRA
  • Finding a New Job
  • Creating a Budget
  • Tax Planning
  • Rebalancing Investments
  • Saving Up For a Big Expense

It’s a long list that I bet you could add something to.  My point isn’t to make you feel bad about your outstanding items; in fact, my goal is to help you get them done.  Let me explain with a quick story.

My Late Night Struggle

I don’t remember exactly which night it was but I had a long day at work, dealt with a sick kid when I got home, and then had a conference call until almost midnight.  As I sat down to work on my “master plan” for this site I felt frustrated and discouraged.  I was tired and spent, I didn’t have the time or energy to tackle this big task.  However, I knew I’d be equally exhausted the following night and the night after that.  So I told myself to suck it up and just get one thing done that evening.

Then I realized that you probably go through something similar.  In your case it’s probably not your website you’re worried about but some aspect of your finances.  You work a long day and have all sorts of responsibilities once you get home.  At the end of the night the last thing you feel like doing is working on your finances.

Why are these things so daunting?  Maybe you don’t know where to start.  You might not understand all the details.  You don’t want to make the “wrong” decision. There are lots of barriers, mental and tactical, that get in your way.

It Doesn’t Have to Be So Overwhelming

As I sat there thinking about how I should just get one thing done I realized that the same thing applies to your nagging financial worries.  You don’t have to be overwhelmed by these big tasks that you’re facing.  You can work on them a little bit regularly and get them taken care of in time.

You see my professional background is in software development and project management – I spend every day taking big problems and breaking them into little, manageable pieces.  So finally a little light bulb went off and I realized that I can use those same methods and apply them to your financial projects.

What I Built For You

If you read yesterday about how I failed you in 2011 then you’ll remember that this year I commited to creating something awesome. What I’ve built is a system that takes a financial project and breaks it down into tiny actionable pieces. It gives you the information and tools you need to complete each action and lets you track your progress as you complete them a little bit at a time. 

I’m excited about rolling it out because the beginning of the year is a time when we traditionally make our goals and start working towards things that we want to get done.  I’m in the middle of putting the finishing touches on this tool and I’m asking you to share your biggest financial goal for 2012.  Whichever one is the most popular is the goal that I’ll build into the first release of the new system. So far there’s one goal that’s beating all the others, we’ll see if it holds it’s top spot – Click hereto vote for your goal..


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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11 Responses to How To Squash Your Nagging Money Worries

  • sophie @ Money Tree Matters

    I’ve found I don’t need my problem solved and my goal achieved to feel secure. I just need to know I have a plan and that I’m going in the right direction – one step at a time.

    In my experience it’s best to focus on getting a bit of money in savings in an emergency fund before tackling any debts or long term financial goals. That little bit of padding makes a lot of difference psycholgically and once you’ve got into the habit of saving money you probably already have a budget and the discplin you need to put money towards paying off debts or investment for the future.

    Come to think of it, I wrote a post about facing my darkest money fears. enjoy:

  • ImpulseSave

    Great idea. When we can accomplish many small tasks, we feel like we are making real progress towards the big picture. I am all about making things easier and more fun. Then you get the reward of a good night’s sleep! When do you think your program will come out?

    Biggest financial goal: pay off unsub student loans.

  • Tyler S.

    Worrying about your big financial picture is never going do much for you, Especially when you should be sleeping!

    Your ideas for focusing on the small steps that will break each problem down into many manageable parts is perfect! I’m looking forward to seeing you roll out your program!

    • Ben

      @Tyler, you’re right – taking action is much more effective than worrying. Usually when I’m up late its b/c I’m working, although occasionally I’ll be working and worrying at the same time…

  • Jerry

    You are awesome. People need to see things broken down and that’s what leads to action. And, we all need to do things like get life insurance, put a will in place, etc. Thank you.

    • Ben

      @Jerry, Thanks! I agree, it helps to break things out step by step and do a little at a time. Hopefully people we get some good use out of my system.

  • Dave @ DebtBlackHole

    Glad you found a way to use your professional skills & apply them to finances. It took me a while to focus my Dispute Resolution skills in a way that is relevant to personal finances- but once I found that path- everything else fell into place.

    I look forward to learning more about your system.

    • Ben

      @Dave glad you had a similar Eureka moment! I watched your video, you certainly do have a good voice for radio/communication.


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