Saving for an Uncertain Future
Creating a budget. Saving for the future. It can all be a bit overwhelming. But right now, the best thing you can do for your future is to revisit the basics of saving and budgeting.
A recent blog post titled Overcoming a Financial Crisis, discusses some available resources and tools you can use to figure out your monthly expenses. Start by making two lists, one for essentials, and one for high-priority wants and unsecured loan payments (like credit cards and personal loans).
On the first list – the one for essentials – figure out how much money you’ll need for things like your mortgage, car payments, food, utilities, childcare and support, alimony, education, and health care. This total will give you a good idea of the bare minimum you need each month.
Now for the second list: high-priority wants and unsecured debt. These expenses are also extremely important even if they’re not considered “essential.” If you find yourself swamped in unsecured debt, you might begin by chipping away at some of it to get your monthly expenses down. Consider taking out a debt consolidation loan or a short-term loan (e.g. a loan scheduled to be repaid in less than a year) with a lower interest rate to help make payments on this unsecured debt. The goals are to control your debt, pay it off faster, and keep it from growing beyond your control. When paying off debt to multiple creditors, make sure to start with the payment with the highest interest rate, and pay that off first.
To further trim your budget, consider researching cost-effective recipes and grocery lists. Many of us are spending more time at home than we ever have before, which gives us the time to finally pick up that cooking habit and start experimenting in the kitchen. This hopefully provides a little escape from the stresses of the day and saves money compared to ordering takeout.
For more information on budgeting, read our article Revisit the Basics of Budgeting.
There are a number of short- and long-term savings tools available to help you set yourself up for the future. UNIFY offers everything from retirement accounts and IRAs to short-term share certificates and special savings accounts. The best strategy here is to prepare your budget, determine your savings goals, and then talk with a UNIFY team member to determine the right savings structure for you and your family. Don’t wait, get started today.