Right now, the only news about the economy seems to be bad news, and it may take a few months if not years to improve. The dollar is weak, oil prices are still up and the cost of living has skyrocketed this year. These are unstable times, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy financial stability. Here are some tips to help you find your financial equilibrium right now.
First and foremost, if you don’t have a monthly budget, now is a great time to start one. You’ll need to divide all of your expenses into two categories, Essential and Non Essential. In the essential category are things like your house payment, car payment, food and utility bills. Everything else can go in the other category. You may be surprised by just how much money you’re spending every month on those non-essentials.
Once you’ve got this figured out, it’s time to find ways to bring in more money every month. That’s probably the easiest solution right now to staying afloat, but you may need to get creative. If you have extra money put aside, consider investing it wisely into something that will provide a decent return and as such, a nice little extra income for you.
One area to focus on right now is rental property. There are hundreds of thousands of foreclosures going on right now, and all of these former owners need housing. For most, this means either bunking with family or getting a rental property. However, in many urban areas, rental properties are hard to come by. In today’s market, you can pick up a house cheap and easily turn it into an income-producing property.
If you don’t have enough free money to do that, consider leveraging some debt. This is a good form of debt that will go to work for you, allowing you to create more than one stream of income. Using the above example, you would get a loan for a property, and then charge enough rent to cover the monthly payments for the loan and create an income for you. Having touched briefly on good debt, now is the best time to get rid of any bad debt you have. With interest rates going up, you’re going to want to pay down any non-fixed rate loans you have.