The last 18 months have been challenging for families and individuals. The impacts of the pandemic have been far-reaching. Many people have struggled with their finances and keeping bills and mortgage payments up to date. It can be a very stressful time if you aren’t sure if you will continue to receive a paycheck or if you are being uncertain about your financial future. There are a few things you can do to keep the financial strain of the pandemic in check.
Many wait until payday and then pay bills that are due at that time. If you can change that habit and pay your bills as they come in, this could potentially help with developing a better cash flow.. If you set a budget by looking at the bills you pay compared to what you bring in, you will be able to set aside the money needed for bills as they come and there will not be any surprises. You may even want to set aside the cash for bills in separate shoe boxes or jars to visualize the flow of cash coming in and out of your household.
It is also always a good idea to have an emergency fund in place. Putting money from your paycheck into an emergency fund will give you peace of mind in case there is a time that you are not able to pay bills. In case of a car accident or another sickness that puts you out of work, you can rest a bit easier if you know there is money to pay those unexpected expenses.
A budget was mentioned earlier when sitting down to pay your bills. Having a detailed budget will help you to see exactly what you are spending your money on monthly. Before setting a budget take time during the previous month to write down all the money you are spending. You will be able to see where the majority of your paycheck is going and adjust your budget accordingly. Budgeting is hard, and you have to commit to the plan you make. You will find extra money when sticking to a budget.
A great way to build your savings is to make automatic deposits into a savings account. Have a deduction taken straight from your paycheck into a savings account. This could also be your emergency fund. When money is taken straight out of your paycheck, you get used to not seeing that money and you will see that your savings account will build quickly.
Having a retirement fund is also a good way to diversify your money. If your job offers a retirement savings plan you should be taking advantage of it. A lot of companies match contributions to retirement funds up to 6 percent. This is like getting free money. No matter what your present age is, it is important to consider saving for retirement now.
If the pandemic has you stressed about financial health, following these tips can give you some peace of mind. Saving money takes time, so setting short and long-term goals will seem more accessible when you first start to make these simple changes to your financial situation.