This current crisis is changing every aspect of our lives right now. Many of us feel off center, uncomfortable and anxious. We are out of our normal routines and must learn new skills to deal with new challenges.
Life in my family is no different. For the first time in my life I am learn how to cook. (Which I might add, I have discovered that I am good at.) I am learning new technologies to stay in contact with family, friends and clients.
I have also discovered that no matter how well I have prepared, the true test of a solid plan is when the winds are actually blowing. How are you handling this crisis? Take a moment to evaluate your financial landscape. Are you seeing weakness in your financial habits? Will you be able to weather the current storm?
GET A FINANCIAL PLAN
Storms come into everyone’s lives – usually at the most inopportune time. A solid financial plan is a road map that will take these storms into account and have margins built in to buffer the blows. If you don’t already have a written, well documented financial plan, start the process today.
If you have a financial plan, take time to revisit it with your advisor. Plans change, seasons change, and your financial plan needs to adjust with the changes.
CREATE AN ONGOING, TRUSTED RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR ADVISOR
Most people have the ability to create an IRA or add to their employer’s 401(k) with little assistance from a professional advisor. It’s not until a crisis hits when many seek financial advice from financial professionals. Unfortunately, they are seeking advice out of desperation from individuals that they do not have a relationship with or have a trusted track record with.
Do your research. Talk to friends and family. Take time to interview several advisors. Once you choose an advisor, take time to meet with them on a consistent basis to develop a level of trust that will provide confidence when you need to make tough financial decisions.
THE LITTLE THINGS ADD UP
Keep a watchful eye on your budget. All your little purchases may add up to large amounts at the end of the year. Simplify your life by using a budget tool that works for your lifestyle such as a spreadsheet, financial dashboard, budget app or a simple cash envelope system.
HAVE A SOLID EMERGENCY FUND
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. It could be the current pandemic we are dealing with, a job layoff, a government shutdown, an illness, bad weather or a broken car. The average emergency fund should be 3-6 months of your monthly household expenses. The benefit of having money set aside to cover your costs will far outweigh the sacrifices you made to build the fund.
THE GIFT OF GIVING
When we see the ones we love hurting and in need, most of us want to jump in to help in any way possible. When your finances are solid you don’t need to feel helpless. You will have the ability to help a relative that just lost a job, to donate funds for our first responders or to provide temporary housing for a friend who lost everything in a fire.
LEARN FROM EACH CRISIS
You may have extra time on your hands right now due to the current crisis. If so, use your free time wisely. Evaluate your past financial decisions, your current financial status and determine if you need to make any changes.
If you are part of the brave group that was designated as essential workers, we want to say thank you for all your dedication and extra efforts. As with others in the past, this crisis will pass. When it does, take time for yourself to rest and process how you and your family weathered this storm. Are there weaknesses in your financial preparedness?
If you are not sure what to do next, reach out to us at Kuderer Financial. Our mission is to help our clients make financial decisions with wisdom and confidence. We can help you weather the storm with less financial stress.
Most importantly, we want to encourage you and offer hope. Stay in contact with friends and family. Take walks and soak in the beautiful spring air. Call your neighbors, support a local small business, send a meal to our first responders, thank the fearless clerks at your grocery store and be patience with your overworked pharmacy crew. We are in this together and we will get through this together. Be smart and stay healthy!