October Challenge: Tackle Your Biggest Money Fear

Money fears are normal. Maybe you even have a few that keep you up at night. But ignoring them isn’t the answer—because if you never address them, they’ll never go away.

Football season is the perfect time to tackle your money fears head-on. This month’s challenge is all about creating a game plan to defeat whatever is keeping you from your dreams. Start stretching now, because your victory dance is going to be amazing!

1. Fear: I don’t make enough money to do everything I need/want to do.

Your Game Plan: Make a list of what’s most important to you and prioritize it. Do you need to get current with your bills? Buy a more reliable car? Start saving for Christmas, retirement or a dream vacation? Whatever is at the top of your list, focus your money and energy on it rather than attacking everything at once. Trying to do everything all at once will almost never result in success, no matter how much money you have. Focusing on one thing at a time helps you accomplish your goals, experience a win, and push fear out the door.

2. Fear: I’m one emergency away from big money trouble.

Your Game Plan: If you find yourself holding your breath every time you start your car, an emergency fund will provide some much-needed relief. Before you start working to pay down your debt, set aside $1,000 for emergencies. Then, once you’ve paid down your debt, save up three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. By having this money buffer, you’ll be able to sleep better knowing that if something does come up, you’ll be able to cover it.

Related: How to Get an Emergency Fund

3. Fear: I’ll have to work forever because I don’t have enough for retirement.

Your Game Plan: Retirement is in your control. Make room in your budget for retirement by getting out of debt, building up an emergency fund, then attacking your long-term savings with everything you’ve got. You’ll be amazed at the contributions you can make to your retirement fund when you have no monthly debt payments. Then you can focus a portion of your income toward your future savings.

4. Fear: I don’t have money saved for my kids to go to college, and they’ll have to take out student loans.

Your Game Plan: Americans owe a combined $1.2 trillion on student loans. But loans aren’t the only way to pay for college. Look a little closer, and you’ll find all sorts of methods to pay for college without debt. Going after scholarships, attending an in-state public school, and working part-time during the semester are just a few ideas. Thinking outside the box makes paying for college a lot easier, and definitely doable without loans.

Related: 6 Ways to Pay for College Without Debt

5. Fear: I’ll always be in debt.

Your Game Plan: No you won’t! When you’re fired up about living on a budget, working an extra job, or selling things for extra money, your debt is the one that will be scared. You don’t have to win the lottery to accomplish big goals like this. Make a plan to attack your debts one at a time, and it will happen.

Related: The Best Plan for Paying Off Debt

Whether you’re worried about retirement, emergencies or missing the chance to enjoy life, creating a budget allows you to face your money fears and triumph over them. Try our challenge this month and you’ll see that once you put your money in its place, there’s absolutely nothing to fear!

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