Money Talks News: Facing Down Your Financial Fears

Halloween is time to have a good time with scary stuff. From ghosts to witches to monsters, it's all about the fear factor.

But while make believe fear is fun, financial fears are anything but. And from time to time, most of us have them.

I've been talking to people about money for more than 30 years: here are the top fears I've encountered and how to conquer them.

First fear? Risk, like the kind you find in the stock market. It's natural to be afraid of losing money - after all, it doesn't grow on trees. How do you face it?

First, educate yourself. It's not rocket science. Then use techniques like diversification to minimize risk.

Then there's debt. Being afraid of debt is smart. But being so afraid you freeze isn't.

Face by understanding the difference between good and bad debt. Good debt is the kind that pays more than it costs. Bad debt is the kind that comes from living beyond your means.

Here's a big one: fear of tracking your expenses. If you're afraid of budgeting, it's probably because you think it's like a diet: all about deprivation. Wrong. Not tracking where your money's going is like driving with your eyes closed. Now that's scary.

Then there's estate planning, like having a will. While it might be scary to plan for death, what's really frightening is the mess that can result when you don't. So don't focus on death - focus on those you'll leave behind.

Finally, who's not afraid of the tax man? Well, learn a little, document your deductions and you should never have to be.

Bottom line? A little fear can be fun, but living in financial fear isn't.

Replace fear with the control that comes with knowledge. Where will you find it? All over the place, including right here at

Start by doing a search for "Financial Fears." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.

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