A family budget is a tricky thing to balance, even without a pandemic crashing and wrecking your finances.
In uncertain times like these – with the country facing an uneven economic recovery, rising inflation, stubbornly high unemployment, and worrying variants of COVID – you must keep yourself armed with additional financial tools to protect your business. spares potential financial problems.
Here’s an eight-point battle plan for strengthening your family’s financial defenses, starting today.
1. Clear as much debt as possible
Paying off debt can be the most effective way to protect your household finances, especially if high interest debt like credit cards further depletes your money each month.
As long as your credit rating is in good shape, you should consider consolidating your various expensive balances into one debt consolidation loan with a lower interest rate.
This will make your debt more affordable and help you pay it off faster – to give your budget a little breathing room.
You can quickly compare loan offers from several lenders online, to find the best possible interest rate.
2. Stop leaks in your budget
The pandemic has forced many of us to cut back, whether we like it or not. But you can still lose money from your family budget if you ignore the basic ways to save.
Fill those holes by looking for the best deals out there.
You can save money every time you shop online if you download a free browser extension which instantly searches for lower prices and coupon codes.
With a little comparative shopping, homeowners may be able to reduce the cost of home insurance by hundreds of dollars a year. And, shop for your auto insurance every time your policy is renewed because you could easily overpay.
3. Refinance your mortgage
Do you want to seriously reduce your monthly expenses? If you’re a homeowner and haven’t refinanced yet, it’s high time.
Thanks to the lowest interest rates brought in by the pandemic, more than 14 million homeowners still have the potential to cut their monthly payments by nearly $ 300, mortgage data and technology company Black recently said. Knight.
Yet a Zillow survey found that 78% of homeowners have never refinanced in the past year for insanely low mortgage rates. If you have a strong credit rating and at least 20% equity in your home, you should re-credit at one of today’s historically low rates while you still can. Forecasters say rates will rise later in the year.
Mortgage rates can vary widely from lender to lender, so shop around and compare a minimum of five quotes to find the most attractive rate in your area for someone with your credit profile.
4. Protect your family with life insurance
It’s not something people want to think about, but it’s one of the most important. Imagine how difficult it would be for your loved ones to cope without the money you bring.
Even if your finances seem precarious right now, consider using a small amount of money to open a life insurance policy. Because life is uncertain and fragile, as COVID-19 has demonstrated.
Term life insurance, which covers you for a number of years, can cost less than $ 1 a day, and the payout to your family will always be tax-free.
Use a website that will help you review policies side by side, so you can find the best price for coverage that meets your family’s needs.
5. Fill up your emergency fund
It’s important to stay nimble in a crisis, which means having cash on hand that you can use for anything.
Your rainy day money can bail you out if you experience a sudden layoff or an unexpected medical bill. There’s no secret formula, but financial experts suggest saving enough to cover three to six months of regular expenses.
Once you start building your emergency fund, store it in a safe high yield savings account. You’ll have instant access to your money when you need it, and in the meantime, you’ll earn more interest than with a traditional savings account.
6. Talk to a pro
You don’t have to be rich to hire a financial advisor. Everyone would need a little help.
Nowadays, you can work with a certified financial planner online and at an affordable price to help protect your family’s finances now and in the future.
A financial professional will customize a plan for you, whether you’re just starting a family or enjoying retirement.
7. Protect your income against illness and injury
Americans have had to think about their health a lot more than usual over the past year, but this should be factored into any financial plan.
A serious illness like COVID isn’t the only thing that could prevent you from working and earning a living, but many people are not covered for long-term disability by their work.
An affordable way to protect your income and your family is to take out your own disability insurance. Policies that cost just pennies a day will provide you with a source of income if you can’t work.
You can get a quote in seconds and be covered in 15 minutes. It’s easy and too important to ignore.
8. Don’t worry about your investments
After a long period of stability, the stock market has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a volatile time to be an investor, that’s for sure.
Lately, stocks have hit new all-time highs, but analysts believe the market should undergo a “correction,” meaning a drop of 10% or more. Instead of stressing out, just accept the situation and remember that for most people investing is about looking for the long term.
If you need help managing your investments in a volatile market, consider using a robot-advisor this will automatically adjust your portfolio to any significant changes over the next few months, so you don’t have to.
You want to see your money grow over time for your retirement and other big goals. A fairly easy way to get extra returns in the market is to download a popular app that helps you build a diversified portfolio just by to invest “the spare currency” of your daily purchases.