The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!
Top 6 Financial Fears
According to Yahoo's survey, many consumers are suffering from high anxiety, and it's no wonder with all the wonderful news out there right now (no, no sarcasm here, no siree). The best way to help lower your stress is to understand what triggers it in the first place. Here's a list of the top six financial concerns most consumers have, according to the survey:
1. The rising cost of living. The biggest issue here is the most folks are worried their salaries won't keep up with the cost of living. Isn't it amazing how even as your worth at work grows, you still seem to need more money? Perhaps some frugal living tips can help you budget as needed.
2. Economic downturn and job insecurity. In terms of job security, you have to make yourself versatile and valuable to the company. Take a class that teaches you a new skill—employees that can do multiple tasks within a company and still work efficiently are highly valued.
3. Consumer debt. A very valid concern. The average household is in debt an average of $25,000 or more. You can reduce debt by devising a repayment plan that involves organizing your debt in order of how you intend to pay them. Any method works fine so long as you stick to the plan. Once one debt is paid off, apply the amount from that debt to a new debt. Rinse and repeat.
4. Housing Crisis. With home values plummeting, people have reason to be concerned. This is where a diversified portfolio comes in handy and the reason that one shouldn't put all of their eggs in one basket. If the majority of your net worth was tied up in your home, you need to diversify. Work on building a portfolio and talk to a financial advisor to guide you.
5. Savings and retirement. Start putting money aside, even if it's just $5 a week. Surely you can cut a latte or some other small convenience once or twice a week to build a savings account. Also, live at least one raise behind. If you get a raise, don't change your spending habits, put that money in savings. And be sure you're contributing to your 401(k) up to at least your company's match. If you're not, you're missing out on free money!
6. Everyday transactions. Many polled felt that retailers and grocers play games with prices and it's too hard to keep up with. The best advice we can offer is to clip coupons and price shop. Before making a purchase, consider your options. Can you get it cheaper somewhere else? Consider shopping at large consumer clubs like Costco or Sam's Club and going in with family or friends to divide up the costs. For example, get a 20 pack of instant oatmeal for $3 and divide that with a friend or family member. You'll get 10 packs (same as a regular grocery store) for half of what you'd normally pay, though prices vary by area. Still, it may be cost effective.
Do these concerns match your own? If there's anything missing from the list, add it here! [MSNBC]