Look, let’s just be honest right now – businesses and taxpayers are struggling financially. Yes, big government continues to talk a great game even as banks fail, conflicts arise overseas, and certain industries walk away with loads of profits every quarter – but in the real world? A lot of people are hurting.
With that in mind, today I wanted to share some critical ways you can keep more money in your pocket and not negatively impact your overall financial situation.
- Communicate. Over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and even a small financial disruption can make for a hardship. If you’re struggling to pay a bill, whether it’s the mortgage or the car insurance, pick up the phone and call that company. Explain what you can do now, when you believe you can make a payment, and then? Keep in touch! Nobody likes to talk to companies they owe money to, but this simple communication can be the difference between an impact in your credit score, a closed account, or even a repossession or cancelled policy.
- Take a hard look at recurring payments. Another simple thing is to really study your bank statements and see if there are recurring payments you had forgotten about. Health clubs, various membership programs that are not currently meeting, or even accounts you’d forgotten about could all be automatically drafted from your account that you never noticed. Get clarity on these now and get them solved.
- Ask for a hand. When you’re practicing that communication from the first point above, make sure you ask if they have any way to lower rates or to give you an extra month of two before the next payment. Several times in the last month, we’ve had clients share how they had certain loans relieved and given 1, 2, or even 3 month “grace” periods extended to allow them to use their limited funds in more useful ways right now. You never know until you ask!
- Ask for a refund. It might seem callous or unsportsmanlike, but the truth of the matter is, people can change their minds. If, for example, you bought tickets to an event, or paid in full for something you later decided wasn’t a wise purchase, you need to be determining what is going to go on with those funds. Yes, you might feel awkward asking for a refund – especially if it was something you were motivated to purchase, but you also have obligations you need to meet for your family.
Without a doubt, the economic issues we’re going through over these last few years are unprecedented in our lifetimes. As such, we are all breaking new ground in how we deal with generation-high interest rates, rising inflation, and worries about the state of the world. Right now, though, your obligations to your family and yourself are a priority, so use these ideas to ensure you can stay afloat.
All the best-