We all know saving money is important. But sometimes, events outside of our control make it difficult to save as much as we would like to. Losing a job, getting sick, emergency home repairs — these unexpected expenses can have a big impact on our finances.
Whatever your current circumstances, know that you can regain control of your finances. Read on for three things you can do now to get back on your feet after a financial setback:
Reset your priorities
If your income dropped due to an emergency, first focus on your bare essential expenses. This includes food, utilities, shelter and transportation. Before paying for other bills and expenses, make sure you have these basics covered.
Once these expenses are covered, keep making at least the minimum payments on any other lines of credit or loans to avoid late fees and penalties.
Refresh your budget
Many people will have to dip into their savings during tough times. That's okay — it's what an emergency fund is there for! The next step is to rebuild your emergency savings as soon as you're able to.
Take some time now to review your current budget and spending habits. What non-essential expenses can you reduce to save money? Cutting out things like food delivery, cable or subscription services can give you more flexibility in your budget to rebuild your emergency fund.
It's a good idea to start with a goal of saving $1,000. Then, work your way up to saving three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. Try setting up automatic monthly transfers into your savings account to take the guesswork out of saving each month. This way, if another unexpected event happens, you can weather the storm with confidence.
Get help and support
In times of uncertainty, it's easy to get overwhelmed. If you're feeling this way, getting help from an experienced financial coach can help you find the best path forward.
At Wright-Patt Credit Union, we're proud to offer members free budgeting and debt counseling through our partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness. Our certified counselors are always here to provide personalized guidance and discuss solutions that may be available to you.
Call (888) 893-2713 to schedule an appointment with a GreenPath Counselor or to speak with someone today.