Have you ever experienced flash floods, or an unexpected rain shower? Water is a force to be reckoned with! If it catches you off guard you can be in serious trouble, or at least extremely wet! Life can feel like that at times too, but with a little planning and prepping you’ll stay safe and dry.
The Radar can’t predict it all
Thanks to technology we can usually see bad weather coming. But it’s not perfect, and sometimes storms go unnoticed, or underestimated. We don’t need to know exactly when and how severe a storm is going to be in order to be ready for it.
That’s true for your financial forecast as well. What was going to be a short spell turned into a week-long storm! This storm threatens to offset your budget plans for the foreseeable future! But it doesn’t have to derail your plans.
Worsening conditions in your Financial Forecast
I think it’s safe to say that most of us have experienced a financial storm in the last 12 months or so. Maybe for you it was just a drizzle, but maybe it felt like hurricane-force winds ripping through your finances.
It could be an expected forecast: maternity leave or standard lulls in business. It could also be a flash flood: layoffs, family emergencies, or even a global pandemic! The financial storms can hit us hard and if we are unprepared, leave considerable damage. So how should you prepare for the storm?
Financial Rain Gear
Get your Rainy Day Fund going
Like an emergency fund, a rainy day fund prepares you for the unexpected. Your rainy day fund should be big enough to handle your financial needs for a minimum of three to six months. Here are two great trackers to get you on your way to a fully-funded Rainy Day Fund.
The right gear
An emergency fund is for covering an unexpected expense. Your rainy day fund should be able to pay your monthly expenses. So how can you build up your rainy-day fund?
One line at a time! Whether you’re ready to sell everything in your house to beef up your savings, or cut back some spending areas, here are a few steps you can take to be prepared for the storms.
1. Apps that help
We’ve talked about financial apps that can help you with your budget. But they can also help you with your savings. Apps like Digit, YNAB and EveryDollar have specific features to help you save.
Need to put an umph in your savings? It might be time to consider downsizing certain areas of your life. Try living with only one tv for a while. Can you make your life work with only one car? Before you scream NO! Ask yourself- and your significant other- could you make it work, even for a short time? What if you could save for your rainy day fund in 6 months if you didn’t have an additional car? Once the rainy day fund is full, save up for that second vehicle!
3. No Spend Challenge
Who doesn’t love a challenge? Let’s try a No Spend Month. The concept is simple. You only spend money on the necessities: rent/mortgage, monthly bills, gas and food. You don’t spend money on “treat yo’self items'' or unnecessary purchases. Obviously, you can modify your challenge to best fit your family. But try to push yourself out of the spending comfort zone. Make coffee at home. No restaurants for the whole month. This article had some great tips on how to make your No Spend Month a success.
Be Storm Ready
So what are you waiting for? The storm to hit? By then it’s too late. If you feel like your savings could use a boost, slow down on debt payoff and start throwing money into your rainy day fund. Even doing it for one month could make a considerable difference in your rainy day fund.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to financial freedom. There may be setbacks, but keep moving forward. Keep your eye on your goals and you will get there, no matter what kind of weather.