4 Smart Money Strategies to Get You Through Uncertain Times
While it's definitely true that money isn't the end-all, be-all of human existence, it is a crucial component of life. When you have money, you have freedom. You also have protection, especially during turbulent times. Just look at the current climate. Lots of people are worried about their finances and whether they'll be able to cover basic living expenses.
Being financially responsible is just another aspect of survivalism. When you're financially prepared, work shortages or stoppages won't have as big of an impact. You'll also be in a better position to get yourself and your family to safety when you have cash available. Here are a few ways you can increase financial preparedness and make certain you're ready for whatever comes your way.
1. Take a Cold, Hard Look at Your Current Budget
Being good with money is a learned habit, much like anything else. If you find yourself making unnecessary purchases on a regular basis, to the point where it's affecting your finances, stop and take a breath. Chances are a lot of your bad spending habits can be curbed and reduced by taking a few simple steps.
If you're a fan of ordering food from your favorite restaurants, start preparing more meals at home. Remember, homecooked food tastes better and is better for you when you use nutritious ingredients. If you're a gym member, consider canceling your membership and working out at home. There are plenty of home workouts that are just as beneficial as the equipment found at most gyms.
2. Start Saving an Emergency Fund Right Now
Everyone should have an emergency fund set aside that covers at least three months of living expenses. These funds should remain untouched unless of a true emergency or you run the risk of being wholly unprepared when you need them most. However, saving can be tough in the current financial climate.
When you put money into your emergency fund, you're investing in your family's future well-being. Accordingly, treat saving like another bill to be paid. You can also automate savings into a dedicated account so funds are moved over automatically. And if you're reluctant to keep your emergency fund in a bank, withdraw the cash and place it in a well-concealed safe deposit box in your home.
3. Chip Away at Your Debt as Much as You Can
In addition to building your emergency savings, you also want to bring down your debt level as much as possible. Being truly free means owning the things you use, whether that's your vehicle or your home. When you owe money to a bank or other lending institution, you're at their mercy. Should a financial collapse occur, you could be at risk of losing these precious commodities.
Whenever possible, make more than the minimum payment on the debt you owe. This will help you pay it down faster, but it can also reduce the amount you owe overall. Making the minimum payments means you're paying more in interest, thereby adding to financial instability.
4. Educate Yourself on Investing
Smart people make sure their money is working hard on their behalf. This is the goal of investing; putting your money into worthwhile pursuits helps it grow and gives you more to work with when it comes to paying down debt and boosting savings. However, you want to rest assured that you're investing wisely, especially if it's your first time.
You don't need a ton of money to start. Even as little as $500 can boost your financial profile when invested wisely. You'll also need to decide which investment vehicle works best for your needs. For example, purchasing stocks allows you to own a share of a company, which means your investment will grow as the business does. There are also bonds, which are less risky but take longer to accrue wealth. If you're distrustful of traditional investing you can always put your money into cryptocurrency, but keep in mind that this tends to be the riskiest option.