The inflation monster is now awake after a decades-long nap. Recent figures suggest that the rising costs of almost everything will not go away soon. The next couple of years, and indeed the next couple of months, will be hard for many Americans. They are going to be paying more for essentials as well as necessities.
Inflation is something to be concerned about but nothing to panic over. A little bit of common sense in spending and some guidelines will help everyone get through the tough times with money to spare. The way to meet rising expenses is to have a budget ready for it.
Some Useful Tools
Financial wellness is a goal for which financial counselors over the years have developed some general guidelines to allow an individual to make sensible money decisions.
- The 70/30 Rule. A person looks at the monthly net pay and puts aside 70% for monthly expenses incurred. The other 30% is divided into 10% for investments or donations and 20% for savings and perhaps some investing.
- The 15/20/30 Rule. It is a favorite of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Net income, the money is left after taxes have been assessed, is allocated so that 50% of what is left is spent on needs, 30% on wants, and the remaining 20% stays in savings.
Did you notice that a certain amount is always allocated for savings? The reason is straightforward. By putting some savings aside, a consumer can meet those sudden domestic problems without taking out a loan.
Some Spending Tips
No one will get through a month without having to pay for something. So, a little bit of thought is going to go into being sensible. You cannot cut out everything, but you can make personal finances less stressful. There are some ideas.
- Credit Card Management. Credit debt is one of the most significant headaches people deal with. You can manage your credit cards by paying only the minimum on some of them and paying a little extra on those bits of plastic that have the smallest balances. You can also consider a consolidation arrangement where all the credit cards are consolidated into one payment. Be careful! Missing a payment on a consolidation arrangement can result in some heavy penalties.
- Get Rid of Unnecessary Subscriptions. Streaming services are fun, but why pay for several? Limiting one or two of the streaming services that you do not use can save up to $40 a month that can be used for other expenses or savings.
- Always Use Coupons with Grocery Shopping. You can cut some corners easily. Using coupons and paying attention to special sales can reduce your food expenses. By the way, many people got into the habit of having groceries delivered to the house during the pandemic. Going back to the store allows you to eliminate delivery service from your expenses.
- Get Professional Advice. Please do not rely on people who have a YouTube channel. You might have some unique situations that are not addressed by a podcast. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services offers a benefit that helps with financial wellness.
The Best Counselors
We have a nationwide network of certified counselors who deal with daily financial worries. Our counselors will do a budget analysis for a financial wellness plan member. The counselors then use the information to advise a person on creating a budget that works. We have a financial wellness counselor in every community where there is a Countrywide client, and our plan members get priority treatment.
The client decides what financial wellness services will be in their Countrywide benefit. We furnish administration and superior member services. If you are interested in what we can do for your employees, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. Inflation does not have to be a scary monster, and Countrywide helps people face the rising costs.