The end of the year is always a good time to take a look at your financial well-being. How secure are your finances? How well could you handle a major unexpected expense? The more robust your financial health, the better you’ll be able to weather the next storm you encounter.
There’s no question the coronavirus hit us hard. Jobs have been lost, rent relief was initiated, savings have been tapped, and there isn’t a clear end in sight. But there are things you can do to strengthen your financial situation. This will make life less stressful when small crises hit, such as a needed car repair.
Reframe Your Budget
The word budget gets a bad rap. It implies strict rules, no fun, and a lot of hard work. Instead, think of it as a framework for the financial house you want to build. If you build on a weak foundation, your structure is going to be shaky, and a strong storm could destroy it.
So where do you start?
There are many ways to create a budget and track your expenses, but they all have the same steps. The most basic explanation is to add up how much money you take in each month and subtract your expenses.
There are nuances to creating and following a budget because no two people will have the same needs. You might have a credit card debt that needs to be paid off. Someone else might have a monthly prescription bill.
No matter what you need to pay, how you set it up or track it – just do it. Don’t be afraid to look at your finances, because fear leads to inaction. So take that first step toward financial security and freedom.
We mentioned this last year but it’s worth repeating. The Prosperity Connection in St. Louis offers free online financial education classes and videos. One worth looking at now is “Protecting Your Finances During COVID 19.” There are many others on budgeting, asking a lender to defer a payment or home buying.
It seems like a frivolous expense. You probably think you don’t have anything worth insuring. But it’s important because you spent your hard-earned money buying the things you own. You don’t want to have to do it again if there’s a fire or a theft. Your landlord will have insurance, but that will only be on the property your renting, not on your personal household goods. Don’t take a chance. For the small amount it costs each day, it’s worth having.
A tenant who has robust financial well-being is a plus for everyone. The tenant has the benefit of financial security to handle life’s crises. The landlord benefits knowing the rent will be paid, the property well-kept, and evictions will be avoided.
Take these few simple steps to start securing your financial future today.