It’s no secret that for many individuals, couples and families, money and finances are frequently the source of anxiety and household disagreements. Add in an economic recession and hefty credit card debts caused by the notoriously expensive holiday season, and you’ve got a recipe for high levels of stress.
Everyone’s financial situation is unique, but when it comes to money, everyone has pain points. There are couples wondering if they’ve saved enough to retire comfortably. There are families questioning whether they can afford to send their kids to college. Some people are living paycheck-to-paycheck, hoping there will be no emergencies or unexpected expenses, and others are feeling the weight of mounting debts on their shoulders because there’s more money going out than coming in. Even executives and business owners with higher salaries experience money-related stress as they watch unpredictable stocks and investments lose value and threaten to significantly alter their futures.
The bigger problem is that for many people the gut reaction to money-related stress is avoidance. Let’s face it; if things aren’t going well, thinking and talking about your financial situation, and how it will affect your future, can be scary and uncomfortable. Whether it’s a matter of survival or a matter of long-term financial security, nobody wants to find out they’re not making enough; nobody wants to argue with their spouse about where the money is going and where it should be spent; and nobody wants to be faced with the prospect that change might be required.
Fear is a powerful motivator, and many people fear the idea of not having enough. So, instead of taking a hard, honest look at their financial circumstances and addressing potential problems, they simply ignore and even avoid the subject of money altogether. After nearly 15 years of dealing with people and their finances, I’ve come to believe that a large percentage of the population would rather plan their own funeral than they would plan for a secure financial future.
Unfortunately, avoidance not only mitigates the possibility of a solution, it usually makes the problems much worse.
You may be wondering, “What is the point of all this fear-based talk about money?” The answer is… there’s a solution (feel free to take a deep breath now).
Regardless of the situation, there are many ways for people of every socio-economic class to improve their financial situation and alleviate some or all of the stress associated with money issues. As a mortgage broker, I know that one of the most important steps for helping people is ensuring that they have the right mortgage for their unique life circumstances. But that’s just one of many proven tactics and there is plenty of qualified help out there to provide expert guidance. Ironically, many people assume that seeking advice and strategic planning from a financial or lending expert will just be an added expense. Others are hesitant to seek advice because it will likely require them to be transparent about their current circumstances and to make some changes.
The truth is, most of the financial experts and mortgage lenders I know in the Wilmington area are sincere about their desire to help people improve their financial circumstances and their lives. Many are more than happy to sit down with clients, discuss their current finances and future goals and offer some initial advice about immediate steps that can be taken to create some positive change—all at no charge.
For anyone stressing for any reason over money, my advice is simple. Face your fear. Be bold and get over that hump that is keeping you from identifying and implementing a solution. The moment you decide that you’re going to do something about your financial situation is the moment you’ll start sensing some relief.
If you’re ready to take action, but not sure where to start, call a reputable mortgage lender who can advise you on the smartest mortgage options for your home, or financial advisor that can provide some insight on your overall financial profile. Ask if they offer free consultation services and make an appointment. Whether you’re struggling to get out from under a mound of debt or just concerned about building a large enough nest egg for the future, a good advisor can help you build a plan to make your money work harder for you and accomplish your financial goals. Once you take the first step, you’ll realize it’s not as painful as you thought, and that having a plan makes the stress start to melt away.
Patrick Stoy has 15 years of mortgage lending experience. Patrick is CEO of Wilmington-based Market Consulting Mortgage, which he started in 2005 with a mission to build lifelong customer relationships by providing real value. To learn more about Marketing Consulting Mortgage, visit www.macmtg.com. Patrick can be reached at [email protected] or 910-509-7105.
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