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Sometimes scary can be good, like a really scary movie that keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat with suspense periodically relieved by delicious thrills. You might expect a scary movie to leave you feeling anxious, but instead it can have the opposite effect. It’s almost as if all your anxieties and fears were spent while watching the movie, so by the end you’re left feeling clear-headed and calm. Yet no matter how good you feel afterwards, you still wouldn’t want anything that happens in a scary movie to happen in real life. Especially when it comes to your finances, some things belong only in scary movies.
Being uninsured/underinsured. The “what if” could happen tomorrow, which puts you only one catastrophe away from financial ruin. It’s hard to justify that it’s ever worth the risk to skimp on the right amount of insurance, whether it’s for your health, car or home. After all, what could be more terrifying than getting a bill so large that even splitting it between all your credit cards to their limits wouldn’t be enough to pay for it?
No safety net. No savings means no security and no freedom. If you lose your job, you have no choice but to find another one fast, even if it involves wearing a chicken costume. Still more horrifying, it takes you so long to find another job that (silent shudder) you have to move back in with your parents when you’re well over the age of 21.
Working forever. The zombie apocalypse can’t hold a candle to the prospect of bagging groceries with an oxygen tank strapped to your hip.
Six-digit debt. Even medical students who know they’ll be earning six-digit salaries admit that it’s a shock to see those kind of numbers on a bill, which in their case is for student loans. Seeing those numbers on a credit card bill at 21% interest could land you prematurely under an RIP headstone.
Hopefully none of these scenarios describe your real life, but even if they do, you don’t have to be one of the victims in a scary movie. Instead you can be the sole survivor at the end of the movie by taking action now to improve your finances–get the right amount and types of insurance, start an emergency fund, save for retirement and pay off your credit card balances every month. And if you’re feeling anxious, clear your head first by watching a scary movie.