In these uncertain times, everybody has to be more strategic with the way they arrange their finances. You not only have to account for every penny, but every purchase, great or small, should move you closer to financial stability. Gone are the days when a relatively stable market and moderate economic growth could allow you some breathing room. As people are getting their tax refund checks and considering how best to spend it (or not)in an uncertain market. Here are the best ways to get the most bang for your buck.
Eliminate High-Interest Debt
When we talk about high-interest debts for most people, we are talking about credit cards. These debts can be a real drain on your budget, and carrying large debts for too long can make a real dent in your credit score. If you can pay off the total outstanding balance, you should definitely do that. Leave that line of credit open for an emergency. And if you can’t, consider rolling the remaining balance over to a card with a lower interest rate.
Invest In Your Home
Interest rates are at an all-time low. Now is the moment to refinance or buy a new home and lock in a newer, lower interest rate. If you are thinking about renting or selling your home, now is the time to make your renovations or just invest in some landscaping for curb appeal. If you have any improvements or repairs that you have been putting off, now may be the best time to take care of them.
Contribute or Start Your Traditional IRA or Roth IRA
Speak to a financial advisor to see what kind of IRA is best for you if you haven’t already. Planning for the future, though it seems very sketchy right now, is a good way to ensure that you aren’t facing even steeper insecurity in the future. If you can afford to lock that money away, do it.
Create or Improve Your Emergency Fund
A $500 emergency shouldn’t create a crisis for people who are working full-time. But, the unfortunate reality is that too many people are living paycheck to paycheck, with little or no savings to speak of. Creating an emergency fund is key to protecting your financial future. This isn’t a fund for big-ticket items or upcoming expenses. This fund is for emergencies only. Having even as little as a few hundred dollars on hand for emergency car repairs, hospital bills, or any other unexpected event can help you sleep better at night.