Since the election and even more so after Inauguration, I have gotten so many questions about what people should be doing now with their money. Have the money rules changed?
The short answer is No. The money rules have not changed. Here is a quick list of what you should be doing to not only keep the money that you are bringing in, but also increase your money and financial health.
- Emergency Savings- this rule will always stand the test of time. You must have an emergency fund. I advise having a year’s worth of expenses socked away in case of emergency, job loss or illness.
- Insurance- Be sure that you are covered so that when emergencies or accidents happen, and they will, you are not caught unprepared. Make sure that you have great insurance coverage for auto, health and your home or apartment.
- Good credit score- Now more than ever, your credit matters. From buying a home or renting an apartment to credit cards, buying a car, and even employment matters; your credit score is very important. Now is the perfect time to get a free copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and make sure that what is reported is accurate. This is not the time to be in denial, if you have some work to do to get your credit score up, get to it!
- Budget- Set up a realistic budget. You have to know where your money is going and how you spend your money. I use the word realistic because a budget has to be set up based on the way you actually live your life to be successful. You should include entertainment, coffee runs, dry cleaning, etc. and if you find that you need to adjust these areas, do so. A budget that is too strict sets you up to fail, a budget that is too loose leaves you with not enough money to save. So be honest here.
- A plan to pay off debt- If you have any kind of debt you want to get rid of, make a plan to pay it off now! Credit cards, student loan debt, a car note; really figure out how you are going to pay it off.
- Multiple sources of income- It is important to have more than just one source of income. A part-time job or side hustle of any kind will be financially beneficial. This will help with saving more money, paying off debt faster, and protecting your lifestyle if anything were to happen to your primary source of income.
Since 2017 has just started, you can really hit the ground running and get on top of your financial health. That way you will be able to live your best life without breaking the bank!
Jennifer Streaks is a Moneypro and Lifestyle expert. Continue the conversation about great financial choices by following Jennifer on twitter @JStreaks!