Jul 26 2012
How to Be Money Smart in Your Most Toughest Times

Many Americans go through added anxiety and stress about their financial future considering the expensive cost of living, increase in consumer debt, decline in retail sales, and falling property prices. All these factors together are affecting the economic health of the nation. Money is the only thing on the minds of most of the people in America due to all such reasons.

It is very important to become money smart and learn money management techniques to face tough economic times. The following are five ways to avoid financial difficulties during rough times:

Get Rid of Debts

People are often reluctant to pay for discretionary expenses when they are paying in cash. But since it is easier to pay back the money, people go reckless using plastic for discretionary purchases. Using credit cards and other form of loans is the first thing that should be eliminated. Keep your credit card for the purpose of emergency only. Look for different debt settlement options and get rid of your additional payment every month. Make higher repayments to wind up your card without paying excessive interest. Also note that expenses for personal interest are not tax-deductible and therefore will not reduce tax liability.

Get more information and debt advice at the Consolidate Credit website.

Follow Strict Budget

To follow a strict budget, it is essential that you design a very strict and detailed budget as well. Figure out your total income and assess how much you spend every month. Apart from this, highlight things and activities that are necessary and cannot be avoided. This will help you realize how you can reduce your monthly spending. Perhaps you may forgo eating out at luxurious restaurants and other expensive entertainments. Obviously, this will require a lot of patience and discipline from you, but the results will be worth the sacrifice. Construct a proper budget and carefully analyze what you can do to control your spending without taking a wrong decision that you regret in the end.

Safeguard Your Job

Stay enthusiastic and engaged, keep network operating and stay high profile. During economic down turns and financial crisis, it is very important to protect something that you have. Therefore, safeguard your job by performing your duties and role in the best possible manner. Make yourself visible and show the enthusiasm to become a part of the team. Value yourself and analyze how much you produce or save for your employer.

Stay updated with the latest trends and developments, continuing technology and education in your respective field. Become visible by participating in at least one local professional organization. Your connections will safeguard your job and will also help you find another one in case you lose the job. Being a part of a local professional organization, you can immediately rely on the professional network with your new job research.

Diversify Your Portfolio

You can deal with the risk of financial crisis and loss on investments to a great extent if you diversify your portfolio. Many investors who were entirely dependent on their stock market investments are still sitting and waiting for the time to reverse since 2008. Do not make this mistake. Instead, create a diversified portfolio and take into account the potential rewards of profitable investments as well as the inherent risk of the market. If you are retired or are near retirement, the time horizon shouldn’t be a constraint for you. On the other hand, adopt a more aggressive approach if you belong to a younger generation. Seek assistance from a professional adviser for a diversified portfolio as well as useful suggestions on debt settlement. You can also collect more information and debt advice at the Consolidate Credit website.

Keep Up With What You Possess

Look at the latest economic development and learn your lessons. Admit that you can’t rely on escalating home prices and bull markets for the security of your future. Make sure you have enough knowledge about the appreciating and depreciating nature of assets that change with time. Make sure you are secure with emergency funds to help you get through tough times. According to financial experts, it is ideal to keep saving reserves that can help you survive up to six months without a job. However, if you are not comfortable with it, do whatever you can.

Professional advisers may guide you best on these areas. Explain your personal situation to them and you may get better recommendations.

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