From stacks of bills to the continuous impact of inflation, it's easy to let real life get in the way of saving for the future.
Just consider the numbers. With U.S. credit card debt passing one trillion dollars and buy now pay later spending at record highs, it's no wonder that almost half of Americans say they would be unable to afford a thousand-dollar emergency.
"It's overwhelming if you try to do it all at one time."
According to the American Psychological Association, money continues to be the top source of stress for people of all backgrounds. Personal finance expert Shavon Roman agrees. She says her clients often feel physically sick and nauseated when they think about their money.
She says it's natural to experience money anxiety, but there is hope if you buckle down and take ownership of your cash flow. "Tell your money where to go," Roman said. "Don't just let it go wherever it pleases."
The Atlanta-based financial advisor says to make improvements, you must act. "The first step is to create a spending plan." She explains that means you must take some time to think things through. "Sit down, look at your income and look at your expenses and create a plan."
Next, Roman says it's a bad idea to make too many changes at once. "Start small," she emphasized. "If you can't save $500 a month, say $5 a month."
She encourages her clients to fight the worst of their financial stress by making one promise to themselves that they will keep no matter what.
Her suggested promise: "I will have a monthly plan for every single dollar that I make."
Roman said if you can keep that pledge, you're already moving toward a healthier financial future.