Four Essential Money Tips for Turbulent Times
By Chris Smith, Guest Contributor
Turbulent times highlight the need to prepare for the unexpected. You may have a job today, but it's important to be prepared if you were to suddenly lose your job. Here are a few ways to get ahead of the stress and safeguard your strategy:
You've probably heard it before, but have an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is incredibly valuable in the event of a job loss. We recommend saving at least three to six months of your monthly living expenses, but if you are starting at zero, aim to hit an initial goal of $500 to one month of living expenses. Though not a replacement for an emergency fund, having a line of credit can help supplement to it.
Revisit your budget and live within your means.
This may take some effort, but fear not, it can be done. When you're adjusting your budget, consider where you can reduce expenses to give your budget some breathing room. Highlight items you could reduce first if you lost your job. If you become unemployed, use this information to plan out a few months of expenses, addressing immediate needs first.
Have a game plan for your benefits.
It's common for employers to provide some benefits while you are unemployed. While health care is likely to be more expensive, consider whether you would use COBRA, a marketplace plan or spousal coverage. It's also important to maintain your other benefits such as life, vision and dental insurance.
Keep your skills sharp and your resume current.
By growing and keeping up-to-date in your current field, you'll be more prepared in the event of a job loss. Sign up for a conference, professional development course or additional training at work. Now is also a great time to update your resume or online presence with your recent work accomplishments and responsibilities. This includes places online such as LinkedIn or a personal website.