The world is and has always been a hectic and highly unpredictable place, and we can safely say it’s not going to be any different in the future either. Whether it’s wars, pandemics, climate change, or any other disturbing event, you never know when the next crisis is going to strike. All these variables can have a great impact on your financial situation, and if you’re not ready to face the challenges that come your way, you can end up in financial ruin.
That’s why proper planning is necessary, regardless of your current financial status. As they say, you have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. So, whether you’re guilty of perpetuating bad financial habits and you want to turn things around, or you simply want to become better at managing your money, here are some tips that will help you stay afloat in times of personal or global crisis.
Create a long-term financial plan
Since you don’t have a crystal ball that can tell you what’s going to happen in the future, the safest approach to ensure financial wellness is to create a long-term financial plan. Short-term goals can only do so much for your economic health. If you only think about your income for the next couple of months, but you have no idea how you’re going to make ends meet afterward, sooner or later you’re going to face serious financial challenges.
A much wiser attitude is to practice long-term and strategic thinking, so you can enjoy financial peace of mind in the long run. So, instead of spending like there’s no tomorrow, you might want to open a retirement fund or think about making an investment that will benefit you for years to come.
Stay on top of your monthly budget
Proper financial planning starts with taking baby steps, or in other words with learning how to manage your monthly budget. The truth is that a lot of people end up in financial distress not because they experienced a major financial loss, but because they ignored those small and seemingly unimportant expenses they make every month.
Spending money without even realizing where it goes is like having a black hole in your bank account that keeps absorbing financial resources. The key to blocking this black hole is creating a monthly budget and sticking to it no matter what. Make a list with all your current expenses, from electricity bills and rent to grocery shopping and everything in between. After you’ve put money aside for all these expenses, you can start planning what to do with the rest of your budget.
Create an emergency fund
You’re probably familiar with the phrase saving money for a rainy day. Well, it didn’t become such a popular expression for no reason. Those rainy days it’s referring to can be right around the corner and you must be ready to face them. The best way to prepare yourself is to create an emergency fund that can provide financial support in case something unexpected happens, like losing your job or dealing with a medical emergency.
If you didn’t have the time or the means to create an emergency fund, the next best thing is to look for installment loans so you can get the money you need to get back on track. However, you have to find a loan that suits your needs and you can afford to pay back, otherwise it will only add to your financial burden.
Investments are a good way to prepare for the future and improve your economic status. But you have to keep in mind that all investments, no matter how big or small, imply a certain degree of risk.
So, before you start diversifying your portfolio by investing in real estate, stocks, corporate bonds or any other investment option, make sure you analyze the risks thoroughly. Choose the more conservative route of making low-risk investments. Your potential rate of return may be smaller, but you’ll be a lot safer this way.
Avoid impulse purchases
We live in a world where shopping therapy has become a normality. People shop till they drop because it makes them feel good, and somehow that has come to serve as an excuse for spending more money than it’s necessary.
But let’s be real, shopping therapy is just another name for impulse buying. A lot of the things you buy probably end up in a corner because you don’t actually need them. This habit can be extremely damaging when you’re going through a period of financial decline. So, before you hit the shops as a coping mechanism, take a moment to reflect on your financial decisions and whether they’re justified or not.
Don’t fall into the sales trap
Buying things on sale might give you the false impression that you’re being a savvy shopper and you’re cutting back on expenses. But make no mistake, you’re not saving any money, you’re just spending them.
It’s hard to resist the sales craze, when all retailers come at you with their promotions and special offers, but resist you must. Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale, buy them because you need them and they bring value to your life. If your purchases don’t check these boxes, you’re better off without them.
Don’t go wild in your credit card spending
Credit cards are another sensitive subject when it comes to cautious spending, as they can make you overspend without even realizing it. You might say you’ll just pay the money back later, but you might have other unexpected things to deal with later and your financial situation can change from one day to another, as it so often happens.
That’s why we recommend using your credit cards cautiously and making sure you have the necessary resources to pay off your balances, especially if you’re already running low on money. This will help you avoid any unpleasant financial surprises in the future.