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Don’t Let Money Worries Rob You of Sleep

February 28, 2022 | Tips, Tricks and Member Safety. Share this article: ShareDon’t Let Money Worries Rob You of Sleep on Facebook Share Don’t Let Money Worries Rob You of Sleep on Twitter

Money and Sleep Article

Don’t Let Money Worries Rob You of Sleep

Money worries keep many Americans up at night. A recent survey by NextAdvisor found that 51% of Americans were anxious about their financial situation. The top 3 worries were debt, lack of savings, and not having enough for retirement.

If you find that money worries are keeping you up at night, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Set aside time. If you check your bank account every day, you’re probably thinking about money too much. Instead, set regular dates on your calendar to go through your bills and expenses. Make it long enough so you can do everything that needs to be done—check your accounts, make sure you’re sticking to your spending plan, and make any necessary tweaks to your budget.
  2. Take action: Create a spending plan. When a money problem nags you, it’s easy to ignore it and hope your circumstances will change, but that strategy will cause more stress in the long run. Instead, create a spending plan to take control of your money. Your spending plan will show how much money you have coming in, what you’re spending it on, and where you can make trade-offs to come up with extra cash. You don’t have to create a massive budgeting system—just take an hour to complete the following steps:
    • Total your monthly expenses. List the bills you pay each month, such as your mortgage or rent, car payment, insurance, utilities, and phone bill.
    • Total your monthly take-home pay. This includes after-tax pay and any other income, such as a side hustle, investments, or rental income.
    • Subtract your expenses from your income. If you’re close to zero, or have a negative number, take a look at non-essential expenses such as subscriptions, entertainment, and shopping for areas to trim.
    • Decide on your financial priorities. Decide what’s most important to you—for example, building an emergency fund, paying off debt, or setting aside money to reach your financial goals such as travel or early retirement—and estimate how much money you’ll need to meet each goal. Decide on a timeline for each goal and divide the time (in months) for each goal to determine your monthly savings targets.
    • Periodically review your plan and priorities. Your spending plan is a ‘living document’ that will change as your life changes—getting married, having children, changing jobs, etc. Take some time periodically to review your plan to make sure you’re on track for your goals as they change and grow.
  3. Set up autopay. Automating your finances allows you to streamline your accounts and pay your bills without having to think about it every month, saving you time and money in the process. If possible, schedule payments to come out right after receiving your paycheck. Taking care of monthly obligations before indulging in luxury expenses gives you a better sense of what you can truly afford. Using autopay also ensures that you’ll never have a late payment reported to the major credit bureaus, which is one of the easiest ways to damage your credit score.
  4. Meet with a financial adviser to make sure you’re saving enough for retirement. It’s never too late to begin saving for retirement. If you haven’t opened an individual retirement account (IRA) or a 401(k), open one now. If your company offers to match your 401(k) contributions up to a certain percentage, make sure to contribute at least that percentage to get the full benefit so you don’t leave free money on the table.
  5. Contact COPFCU for help. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, every credit union’s mission is to help members manage their finances. We offer multiple services, educational opportunities, and trained staff to help you take control of your money so you won’t lose sleep.

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