Okay, now that the votes have been tabulated and the electoral college has spoken, Donald Trump will be our 45th president. No matter if you cried, jumped for joy, or just went on about your business, now is the time to make sure your financial situation is right before our new president takes office.
Where there’s change, there’s uncertainty. In fact, it is more important now than ever that you are intentional about getting your finances together. To help you to do this, I have included a few tips to help you to get your money right in time for a Trump presidency.
Fix Your Credit, Like Right Now
Even if you don’t use credit cards, credit is very important to all of us. It’s probably one of the most important assets that we have and credit can determine the quality of life we live. Your FICO score can determine how much interest you will pay for a new car loan or if you’re approved for a home mortgage. As much as you might hate to admit it, having bad credit is very expensive.
To understand what your credit report says about you, make sure to order your report and score each year. Everyone can order a free report from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) from Annual Credit Report once a year. If you find inaccurate information, now is the time to get it corrected. If there is improvement needed, continue to pay all bills on time, pay down balances, or seek professional help.
Find Additional Ways to Make More Money
It is always a scary situation when you solely depend on one source of income to support you and your family. When you consider that for most of us, this source is usually our job, there’s no reason for anyone not to have multiple sources of income.
Gone are the days where we were guaranteed forty years with one employer to one day be able to retire and collect a pension from them. Nowadays, no job is secure and it’s pretty silly to think that is. Truth be told, many of the jobs our grandparents (and parents) enjoyed, no longer exist for us.
To secure your financial future and build wealth, you must find additional ways to make money. This may involve getting a part-time job, starting a business, or finding a side hustle. If you have different streams of income coming in, you won’t be devastated when one gets up and disappear.
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Save Your Money
As Americans, we are really bad at saving money. This is true no matter who our president is. Too many of us are living paycheck to paycheck and the lack of money affects our quality of life. I often tell people to save enough money for an emergency fund and then enough to cover three to six months of living expenses. Saving money helps us to become financially secure and prepared for emergencies.
Saving money is also important because it decreases the likelihood we will have to finance emergencies with loans or credit cards, therefore putting ourselves in further debt. Two years ago my dog was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. He required emergency surgery, which totaled over a thousand dollars (and yes they wanted payment up front). Having the money saved prevented me from having to have to choose between my dog or my mortgage.
If you are ready to meet your financial goals, Take the America Saves Pledge now to keep yourself accountable.
Related: 25 Easy Ways to Save More Money
Stop Spending Money You Don’t Have
One of the money mistakes people make is spending more money than they actually have. You can still have a fun and enjoyable life without spending every dime you have, you just have to be smart about your money. By spending frivolously, you end up putting your financial health at risk – so stop it.
Determine what makes you make foolish decisions with your money. Are you bored? Do you feel inadequate? Are you trying to out do your friends? Whatever it is, figure it out first and vow to only make necessary and planned purchases.
Yes, we all want nice things, but as adults, we must distinguish between our wants and needs. You might need a car to get to work, but you don’t need a brand new one. And if you’re leasing or stretching payments over six years, it’s pretty obvious you can’t afford it.
Start Investing (and Diversify Like Crazy)
I don’t know if you noticed, but stocks (some more than others) took a plunge once it became apparent that Donald Trump would become our president-elect. People were nervous and this was reflected on Wall Street. Just how your mom told you not to put all of your eggs into one basket, you shouldn’t stake all of your money in one type of stocks or bonds, either. It’s easier to take a hit on one if you have ten others holding you up.
Thankfully, people have gotten a chance to come to grips with who our new president will be and investors have calmed down a bit.
If you are new to investing, don’t worry about the fluctuations. Just get started. The earlier the better. You can start off with your company’s 401K, then graduate to low risk mutual funds. You can also sign up for STASH and invest with as little as $5. Once you get the hang of it, you can hire an adviser that will help you to make sound, long-term investment decisions.
Articles: How to Invest Your First $1000
Sign Up for Health Insurance
Though Trump has said that he will get rid of the Affordable Health Care Act once he’s in office, he has since said that he will keep some parts of it. No one knows for sure what will happen, but I highly recommend becoming insured if you’re not already -just in case.
Visit HealthCare.gov to check out your health care options, especially before the open enrollment ends. Going without insurance because of the cost is an expensive risk you just can’t take. Depending on your situation, you can find a reasonably priced policy, which will undoubtedly give you peace of mind.
There are a lot of variables that go into selecting a policy right for you and your family. Don’t just look at the premium or the deductible, also take into account how you will use your insurance. Remember annual checkups and well visits are covered even before your deductible is met. Check out Policy Genius to help you to compare insurance policies online.
So, get your money straight now, because to be honest with you, you would have to do this no matter who ended up in the Oval Office.