When you watch the news these days, there really isn't much to get excited about. The markets are down, our deficit is going up, and the spending seems to be out of control. There's enough bad news for everyone to get upset and worried 24 hours a day if they want to.
I have a friend who constantly watches the 24 hour news channels, listening to news of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, mortgage bailouts and bailouts of just about every other big struggling company you could think of. This person watches these “news” shows, gets frustrated with where we're headed, and then just gets worried about what can be done to turn things around for our economy. It really ruins this person's mood a good deal of the time.
The problem is that as an ordinary citizen there really isn't much we that we can do to fix the economy. Sure, we can contact our representatives in congress, vote for people who have beliefs aligned with our own, and even get involved in local politics. When it really comes down to it, we really don't have much control over what happens. But we still worry.
Dave Ramsey on his radio show was talking about this very subject, talking about how we are constantly worrying. Of the things we worry about only 20% or so ever actually happen, and of those a good deal of them we have no control over. So what's the point in worrying about them?
Instead of worrying about things you can't control, most of which will never happen, try taking control of the things you can affect. For example, instead of worrying about the economy as a whole, worry about your own personal economy. Do things to get your personal financial situation under control.
- Start a budget.
- Save up an emergency fund.
- Reduce your risk by paying off debt using the debt snowball.
- Make some extra income.
- Start saving for retirement.
- Pay extra on your house.
These are all practical things you can do to improve your own personal economy, and remove some of the worry from your life.
The economy? Well, we don't have much control over that – so why bother worrying about it! Start working on your own situation, and you'll be just fine.
Dave Ramsey Talks About Worry
Here's some audio from the Dave Ramsey radio show this week talking about why we should stop worrying about things we can't control.
Stop worrying, and start working on your personal economy!
Do you ever find yourself worrying about things you can't affect? Are you allowing those worries get in the way of positively affecting things you CAN affect? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.