The state of the economy is looking bleak.
The market has intense swings, there are massive layoffs, and it looks like we are about to hit a recession. Yet, so many people are about putting food on their table and keeping the lights on right now. Finding hope during these times and maintaining the basics can help us all get through these next six months.
While the new year can be a great time for new goals and going above and beyond, this may be a really difficult thing if you are worried about your finances.
Just surviving is your top focus. However, there are basic financial principles that you can still follow to make sure you are finally okay and then work on bigger goals later in the year.
Setting up a simple and easy to maintain budget can go such a long way.
This can help you with a level of certainty to know that your basic needs are being met. Don't complicate your budget because that can cause more stress. Find out your basic cost of living.
Your cost of living will include your rent/mortgage, electricity, transportation, and food. It's just the basics. Budget for these basics and everything else can be put towards your savings or to use for another spending. If you know your basic needs are met, then you can feel more at ease.
If you are doing a simple budget, all of the money you are not spending on your basic needs can be put into an emergency fund. During these challenging times, it's crucial to have an emergency fund to put your mind at ease if there is an emergency.
Try to set up your emergency fund sooner rather than later. If you can only get one to two months right now, that is a perfect amount. Then you can slowly work on getting the recommended three to six months.
Give yourself a simple goal to work on at the beginning of the year.
This can be something like setting up your emergency fund or saving up for a certain expense you know you have, like your home owners or taxes. Don't set a goal that will be a challenge for you to reach or detract from the basic expenses that you have.
When handling your expenses, use coupons and sales for your essentials.
For example, grocery costs are high but join your store's loyalty program to get access to sales on items you are buying and coupons. This can help you save some money at the store and lower your overall cost of living. Lower costs can help reduce some financial stress.
Focus on the free things that you can do to have fun. Activities and events don't have to cost a lot - or anything. You can go to the library and find a new book to read. You can go to the park and walk around with your family. Find ways to have fun without spending a lot of money.
These can be new family traditions and activities that you look forward to on a daily or weekly basis. You'll create memories and help save money.
Family and friends can be the best way to lift yourself up.
Find time to fit in with those around you who you love. They can be there for you when you are down and vice versa. Set up monthly or weekly get togethers with certain people that you enjoy being around.
This goes along with having fun for free but earned its own spot because isolating yourself during a challenging time can make things even harder.
Focus on the areas that you can control.
You'll find that these areas can give you the most peace of mind, as well as the most support. For example, basic financial principles are fundamental when there are times of uncertainty.
Setting up a simple budget, building an emergency fund, and setting a simple goal can help you feel a sense of under among all of the chaos. If you know your basic needs are met, you can focus on family and friends.
Do things with those around you that don't cost a lot and find new traditions. Build hope - being around those you love can help during these times.
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