At the beginning of the year we shared a story on making financial new year’s resolutions. As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue to affect our lives, we’ve got some more financial tips on improving your financial stability during challenging times.
- Hit the reset button. A study from Laurel Road found that over half of millennials and Gen Zers regretted how they handled their finances over the past year. The new year is a perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start practicing all the good financial habits you wish you had implemented last year.
- Look into your money habits. The Klontz Money Script Inventory quiz will help you discover more about your finances than just where you spend your money. It can help you dive into your money beliefs, financial behaviors, and unconscious financial habits to make better decisions moving forward.
- Practice mindfulness. When making financial decisions, take stock of your emotional temperature first. Feelings, both positive and negative, can cause us to make impulsive financial decisions. Take a step back and check in with yourself if you’re making an emotionally-motivated purchase.
- Make a budget. Take the time to actually document your monthly expenses and income. Mark expenses as fixed (rent, car insurance), flexible (food, entertainment), and savings. A good rule of thumb is the 50-30-20 rule. 50 percent of income for fixed necessities, 30 for flexible spending, and 20 saved.
- Set savings goals. Be realistic with your savings goals and think about long term potential expenses to set money aside for like retirement, buying a home, and a rainy day fund.
- Refinance loans. Refinancing loans, especially student loans, can maximize your savings and reduce overall expenses.
- Don’t panic about debt. Debt is not the end of the world, but you should be responsible about how you manage it. Some debt, like student loans, are worth the hassle. Consider looking into debt management strategies like negotiating a lower credit card interest rate.
- Reach out to your network. It’s often considered taboo to discuss finances with family and friends, but reaching out to people can be a good way to seek advice and support during a difficult time. Financial counselors and planners are another great resource if you want some professional advice on your particular financial situation.
Money doesn’t equal happiness, but maintaining a managed and stable financial plan can help you avoid financial hardships and save up for investments that really matter to you. Even during challenging times, you can improve your financial planning and it might even help you find some calm and security during an uneasy period. Use these tips to get you started and good luck!