After a year of “isolation” you may be ready to get out and start spending… but slow down, not so fast. Although this past year has taught some of us about discretionary spending and we have added to our emergency saving fund, it is not time to make up for lost “spending.”
Due to the economic stimulus checks in March, American spending surged. However, according to Northwestern Mutual, it stalled again in April. May and June have brought back some stability and we are looking ahead to the summer (and beyond) as the economy recovers and we get back to “normal.”
Some people are feeling like they want to spend their money in ways that they enjoy RIGHT NOW, because as we have learned, tomorrow is not promised. Meanwhile, others plan on staying the course and continue with wealth-building and saving for the future because tomorrow can change in the blink of an eye.
But before we forget about the financial lessons learned this past year, let’s pause to reflect.
Analyze your change in expenses during these past 15 months. Look at what you have done without and decide if you need to add it back to your budget. How many things that you thought you could not live without have you been living without?
How many things that you thought you could not live without have you been living without?
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
Do not forget to budget. Write down what income you are bringing in and any expenses that are going out. Plan for annual events such as birthdays, holidays, and vacations and build that into your monthly budget. Are you planning on returning to dining out or movie night at the theater? Add these things back into your budget. A budget is meant to guide you through the month, so you are prepared for whatever may be coming.
BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND
If we have learned nothing else, we now know that emergencies can happen. It is a good time to make sure you have three to six months of expenses saved before you go on that spending spree. The stimulus checks were a great way to boost the economy, but it was also a great plan to start building your emergency fund.
REVERSE ANY COVID-RELATED CHANGES
If you had to reduce the amount you were paying in your debt snowball during the pandemic, start going back to your pre-pandemic plan. Attack that student loan and credit card debt with gazelle intensity.
Attack that student loan and credit card debt with gazelle intensity.
TAKE A DAY
Remember… what you think you need today, may only be a want tomorrow. So, slow down and think about what you are spending. Make sure it is a need and not only a want, although wants are okay in moderation.
BEWARE OF RISING PRICES
Prices are rising due to the recent spikes in inflation, so shop around. Comparison shop and, again, make sure you are spending on needs.
Yes, we are getting back to normal, so let your new normal reflect the lessons learned this past year. We hope never to relive 2020, but we will never be unprepared for it. Contact me today and set up a time to go over your plan and how to best execute it. The best plans are the ones we put into motion. My calendar link can be found at https://linktr.ee/Carlisacares.