NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you agonize about money, you’re not alone.

Nearly seven out of 10 Americans say finances are a significant source of stress, according to a recent survey.

Jill Schlesinger, CBS News business analyst and a certified financial planner has written a new book with some solutions for your cash concerns.

Schlesinger sat down with CBS2’s Cindy Hsu to talk about “The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money.”

The business analyst says one way to gain “financial control” is to target the “big three” list:

  • Pay down debt (credit card, loans, etc)
  • Maximize retirement contributions
  • Save 6-12 months of emergency funds

Another issue the author pinpoints is people taking on too much college debt.

Schlesinger says families should discuss what’s affordable before taking college loans.

Parents should prioritize retirement savings and students should research grants, scholarships, and save on their own.

Another big mistake is not having a will.

Schlesinger recommends drafting a will that outlines your wishes for:

  • Who will inherit assets
  • Child guardianship
  • Health decisions

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