With an endless amount of information available with a click of a button, I want to help you prioritize the top 3 things you should be thinking about with your money right now. Before you make an endless To Do List, check these out and get yourself on track or pat yourself on the back for being there already! You Got This!
1- Stretch Your Monthly Money
I’ve been saying this the beginning of last month, but the long term impact of COVD 19 on the economy in unknown. Whether or not you've had a loss of income, it’s a good time to take a look at your spending and see if you can cut back your nonessential spending. Let me break that down real quick. Essential spending expense are things you can’t live without. Like paying rent, buying groceries, auto insurance, things like that. You can shop around prices but you’re not going to stop eating because it’ll save you money. But boy you'd be skinny! But before you head out to the store, here's a tip to avoid panic buying because I for one have done this on more than one occasion. Do an inventory check of everything you have, approximately how long it’ll last you so you don’t overspend on the essentials. Then check out your nonessential expenses. Since many of us are part of shelter-in communities you’re already saving on eating out or travel expenses but if you’re like me you’re constantly signing up for subscription services for convenience and access, so ask the questions, do you still ues them? Do you need them?
2- Check out your Savings / Emergency Fund
Some people have a calculated amount in a savings account but others it’s more abstract. Once you know what your spending looks like from month to month, calculate how many months of reserves you have. Is it 2 months is or it more like 6 months? You can use your stimulus check or tax refund to bump this up but I would aim to have about 6 months worth of expenses. Because the higher your income goes and the farther along you get in your career, generally, the longer it’ll take to replace it with a similar paying job so keep that in mind.
3- Should I keep saving for retirement?
This season has brought on a lot of panic thinking and it’s understandable. We haven’t been through this before and we don’t have a guide book we can reference for how to handle everything. But if you’re income hasn’t been affected and you’re able to meet your monthly expenses then I would continue saving and not change course. If your income has been affected you can always decrease or pause what you’re putting away right now to build your savings / emergency fund. But hold yourself accountable for turning them back on. If you decide to turn them off this week, put two reminders for July 27th, one on your phone and one on your work calendar to check back and see if you can turn them back on. There’s no right answer or one size fits all solution right now so going through these 3 things – stretching your dollars, gauging your savings, and saving for retirement, will help you prioritize what’s right for you.