With the COVID-19 virus, 2020 can be challenging economically for the household budget of many people. Many businesses have closed their doors and some people have lost their homes due to foreclosure. However, others are thriving unlike ever before. There are things you can do to ensure you thrive in all areas of your life during these uncertain times and beyond. Here are the best personal and professional financial tips for you to thrive this year.
Save on Your Car Purchase
You may be tempted to save for a new car, but vehicles depreciate over time. You can save money with your budget by buying a reliable car that’s been previously owned, such as a used Ford Fusion for sale. You’ll spend less on monthly payments and insurance. If you maintain the used car properly, you’ll also save money on potential future repairs. Paying in cash will also help you save money each month so you can reach other financial goals.
When looking for a car, shop around at multiple dealerships in order to get the best deal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price as you can save hundreds of dollars. If you do have to get a loan, make sure to read the fine print before signing. Sometimes dealerships sneak in extra fees such as an advertising fee or conveyance charge that you can request to be removed from the purchase price.
Invest in the Right Auto Insurance Policy
The typical driver files an auto accident claim about once every 18 years on average. Having the right auto insurance policy will help you pay for damages and medical expenses if you get in an accident. If you do get injured, you may want to consider hiring an auto accident attorney to fight for your rights with the insurance company if they deny your claim.
When looking for an auto insurance policy, you may want to have comprehensive and collision insurance unless your car is older. Shop around and compare costs among several providers. You can save money on your budget by bundling your auto insurance with other policies you may have. Ask for any discounts that you may qualify for. You can also save money if you improve your credit history.
Retain a Lawyer
Having a lawyer on retainer can help you thrive personally and professionally. There may be situations that come up where you need expert legal knowledge to help guide you through. For example, you may get injured at work and need help with medical expenses. Workers compensation lawyers can be consulted for legal advice and help you file a claim. A lawyer can save you money when starting a business and buying real estate.
Spending money on a monthly retainer can help you increase your profits as a business owner. It can help you avoid unnecessary legal fees by receiving expert advice while navigating business issues. It can also help you save money personally through the proper setup of your estate and legal contract reviews before you sign. A lawyer can also protect you against lawsuits from customers. Before hiring a lawyer, determine what legal documents you need and how much you can set aside in your budget each month for attorney fees.
Schedule Routine Dental Checkups
Having routine dental checkups can help you thrive personally and professionally. Having a healthy smile can help you feel more confident. This can help you boost your career and open up more opportunities financially because you’ll feel more secure when networking or asking for a raise. You should have a routine checkup performed once every six months. You may also want to consider investing in dental insurance as the cost of braces and other dental procedures can be quite expensive.
Visiting the dentist can also save you money with your household budget by preventing gum disease and infections from becoming serious. You can save money on dental work by asking for discounts on cash payments and asking about any savings plans the dentist may offer. Make sure to get a written warranty on repairs that are $1,000 or more. If the dentist doesn’t offer a warranty, you may want to consider finding one that does. Practice good oral hygiene habits at home to help prevent the need for expensive repairs.
Perform Regular Household Maintenance
Making sure that you perform regular household maintenance will protect your personal budget from future expensive repair. Have an inspection of your roof done at least once a year by a professional residential and commercial roofing company. Check for water leaks in your attic, basement, or around pipes. Change your HVAC filters regularly to lower utility costs. Inspect your sump pump to prevent potential water damage.
You may also want to consider investing in smart technology for your home such as remote programmable thermostats and lighting. Seal windows and doors and insulate your water heater. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have your home inspected and sprayed for termites, insects, and rodents. These activities can save you hundreds of dollars each year and save your budget from expensive repairs down the road.
Purchase Health and Disability Insurance
Selecting the right health insurance plan can help you thrive financially. Medical care costs are expensive and rising each year. These costs can drain an emergency fund quickly and lead to bankruptcy. Health insurance protects your budget by paying for preventative care, prescriptions, and emergency services. Health savings accounts can be beneficial for covering medical costs during retirement.
You may also want to include disability insurance along with health insurance. Disability insurance can help you cover your household bills if you suffer a debilitating illness or work injury. If you film a claim using disability lawyers, it could take a year or more before you can get approved. This insurance will help you thrive financially in the meantime, which can help you pay for a disability claims attorney during the time of lost income.
Save on Business Expenses
If you’re a small business owner, one of the biggest hits to your business budget is shipping costs. There are different types of freight options to choose from. Truck shipping can be cost-effective if you need to transport smaller items. Airfreight can be more expensive, but it’s incredibly ideal if you need to send out time-sensitive packages. Two other cost-effective shipping methods are ocean freight and expedited delivery.
There are numerous other ways you can cut costs in your business budget to help you thrive this year. You can outsource any non-essential tasks and have employees work remotely whenever possible. You may also want to negotiate contracts with vendors and suppliers to get better deals. Use free sources of advertising such as posting on social media platforms instead of paying for traditional advertising. Review your cash flow and sales forecasts regularly to stay on top of operations to avoid any potential hiccups in your business during slow months.
Protect Your Business with Cyber Security
Many small businesses struggle with network security problems affecting their operations. Approximately 43% of cyber-attacks directly target small businesses. Hackers can gain access to confidential business data, which can create a significant impact on your business budget. A data breach can exceed more than $150 million in cost on average. There are things you can do to protect yourself financially from these network security problems.
Make sure to install the last security, software, and operating system updates. After each update, run antivirus software to check your machines. You may also want to ensure that the firewall for your operating system is enabled. By protecting your business computers from data breaches, you can save your budget from unexpected expenses. You may want to consider consulting with a computer network security company to identify any weaknesses you may have and get recommendations.
Build Good Credit Habits
Credit cards can benefit your financial budget if used responsibly. Building a good credit history can save you money and qualify for loans when buying a house or a car. Some credit cards offer rewards such as cash back on purchases and points towards travel expenses. Make sure to pay off your credit bill in full each month on time and never charge more than your budget can afford. Monitor your credit reports annually and dispute any charges that may be inaccurate.
You can also help build a good credit history by keeping your credit card balances low. Ideally, you should only take out 30% or less of the total credit you have available to you. You may want to consider not paying off all your credit accounts and closing them. Keeping a certain amount of accounts open on your credit report can help prove to lenders that you can pay off your debt responsibly. This can help you qualify for lending easier in the future.
Learn to Invest for Retirement
Learning to invest for retirement will not only help you thrive for retirement but also far into the future. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the longer you have to allow your money to grow. Contribute to a retirement plan either through a 401k through your employer or your own individual retirement account. Max out any employer contributions. You may also want to consider opening up a brokerage account for investing.
If you’re new to investing, you may want to consider hiring a broker to help you choose the best investments. Keep it simple and start small at first. Consider investing in no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to help make things less complicated. Spend time doing research and learning the ins and outs of investing so you can make the best decisions. If you need more help, you may want to consider having a consultation with a financial planner.
Automate Savings and Bill Payment
If you want to thrive personally and professionally, you may want to consider setting up automatic payments for your budget expenses and savings. By automating bill payments, you can make sure your bills are paid on time. This can help you boost your credit score. You can also set up automatic transfers each week to set aside money into a savings account. This will help you to not spend everything you make.
There are numerous budgeting apps online you can use to keep track of your spending and transfer cash into investment and savings accounts. You can start by setting aside about 20% of your income and increasing these contributions over time. You may want to consider setting up email alerts so you can avoid overdraft fees. These alerts will notify you when payments are made and if your bank balance is low so you can manage full control over your budget.
Start a Side Hustle
Finding ways to diversify your income can help you thrive personally and professionally. One of the best ways you can do this is to start a side hustle. Earning income outside of your full-time job can help you create financial security if you happen to lose your income. There are numerous ways you can earn extra income for yourself. You could give people rides or deliver takeout or groceries for some quick extra cash.
If you’re crafty, you can sell your items online and ship them to customers around the world. You can consider tutoring or writing articles online for income. You can promote services such as lawn mowing or other similar services on social media platforms. There are numerous websites online where you can learn how to make extra income. You may be able to turn it into a full-time opportunity and be able to quit your job.
Times may be uncertain right now, but you can take steps to improve your financial health. By following these tips, you’ll be able to thrive personally and professionally with your financial budget this year and for years to come. You can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be okay no matter what the economic environment is. Finish the rest of 2020 strong and thrive for decades to come.