With 74 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, including households making over $150,000 a year, it’s no secret that many households need to take important steps to safeguard their financial future and build a foundation for financial stability to weather any economic uncertainty.¹ Here are five ways you can help secure your family’s financial future today:
Stop spending money on things you don’t need. Are you still paying for a gym membership that you’re not using? Are you enrolled in a monthly audiobook subscription that is just racking up credits since you’re working from home? Do you need every streaming service out there? Figure out how to suspend your memberships or cancel them entirely. Every penny adds up!
Eliminate debt. Household debt in the United States recently crossed the $14.3 trillion mark – the highest ever on record – and that was only through the first three months of 2020.² It’s time to get out of the debt trap today. Cutting credit card interest costs by using an accelerated payment method, transferring a balance to a zero-interest credit card, or working with a financial professional may be a smart move for your family if you’re stuck in a debt rut.
Save, save, save. Think you don’t make enough money to save some of it? Think again! About 30 percent of Americans say they’ve experienced a salary decrease since the pandemic started, and one in five have dipped into their savings.³ While 19 percent of respondents say they’re using this time to save more, nearly a quarter said they had zero savings before or none now.³ If there were ever a time to live lean and below your means to increase your savings, it’s now! Auto-enroll yourself to put aside at least 10-15 percent of every paycheck and make the cuts elsewhere. Got a raise? Save it! Your future self will thank you.
Stay positive. Being depressed about your financial situation won’t change it. A survey conducted in the fall of 2019 found that nearly 70 percent of Americans have cried about money.4 You don’t have to be in that statistic. Do something about it! By finding out where you stand financially and retooling your budget, you can develop the right checklist for your family, such as saving for retirement, and building up short-term and long-term savings accounts.
Stay healthy. Maintaining good health is key to keeping medical and insurance costs down, as well as keeping potentially expensive emergency doctor and dental visits at bay. Take a look at easy ways you can focus on preventative health with frugal lifestyle habits (like taking a daily walk — it’s free! — or cutting some expensive and sometimes unhealthy restaurant meals from your budget) to be the healthiest version of yourself and keep your hard-earned money in your bank account.
1 MarketWatch.com, “A Shocking Number of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck,” January 11, 2020
2 Bloomberg.com, “U.S. Household Debt Reaches Yet Another Record on Home Loans,” May 5, 2020
3 Bankrate.com, “Survey: Nearly One-Third of Americans Dealing with Lower Income Due to Coronavirus Outbreak,” May 13, 20020
4 Money.Yahoo.com, “Majority of Americans Have Cried Over Money, Study Says,” October 21, 2019