Up until now, a global pandemic probably sounded like something that only happened in movies. Uncertain times?—more like scary or downright panic-inducing. In the midst of unprecedented volatility regarding the markets and employment, it’s normal to experience a multitude of emotions, including uncertainty and fear.
Yes, there’s plenty to worry about—that’s to be expected given the situation. As most of what’s happening in the world right now is beyond our control, let’s focus on what we can control—like our actions (and reactions).
Let’s take a look at four actions within your control that will help you manage your finances in a crisis.
The first (and arguably most important) step is to stay calm. With all the scary emotions stirring, it’s easy to make rash decisions. But rash financial decisions almost always end in regret. Before making any big decisions, try to look at them objectively and weigh all the pros and cons—for both the short term and the long term. Better yet, speak with a financial advisor who can help you expand your view, see the big picture, and act appropriately.
Create A Crisis Budget
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Most of us are feeling some degree of financial pressure right now. It’s never a bad idea to revisit your budget and look for ways to cut back until hard times pass.
The idea of downsizing and living a more frugal lifestyle doesn’t sound fun, but you’d be amazed at how fast humans adjust to new circumstances. Give it a week or two, and your adjusted living conditions will start feeling like the new “normal.”
When it comes to investing, we all know not to put all our eggs in one basket. But this applies to income streams as well.
Relying on one source of income to stay afloat is risky business. To minimize this risk, look for side hustles you can do to bring in some extra money (bonus points if your idea is recession-proof and can be done from the safety of home).
Follow The Plan
Having a plan in place when calamity strikes prevents you from panicking and making costly financial mistakes. But if you find yourself without a plan currently (when you actually need one), don’t worry. The financial choices you make during a crisis can make or break your future wealth and security, so it’s never too late to put a plan in place.
If you’re unsure about how to handle your finances during these stressful times, it’s best to speak with a financial advisor. I’d love to have a conversation with you about your questions and concerns. And if after meeting you feel I am the right fit for you, I will help you weather any economic storm, defend yourself during a crisis, and pursue your ideal financial future. If you’re interested in setting up your own smart financial plan, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 916-276-8677.
James Callens is a financial advisor at GLH&C Financial Services, a full-service, comprehensive wealth management firm. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry and uses his extensive resources, knowledge, and experience to help his clients experience simplicity and clarity in their financial life. Jim spent over 20 years working for GE Financial Advisors, both in their insurance services department and as a regional manager and financial advisor. He took part in GE’s Six Sigma Quality Training program and completed the National Association of Life Underwriter’s four-year LUTCF course. Jim also earned his certificate in financial planning from the University of California at Davis. In 2011, Jim combined his own firm, Callens Financial Group, with GLH Financial Services, creating GLH&C Financial Services, so he could provide even more value to his clients.
Jim is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Northern California and National Association of International & Financial Advisors (NAIFA). He has served as a board member of several nonprofit organizations and has been involved in Cub Scouts leadership and youth sports coaching. Jim lives in Folsom, CA, with his wife, Melissa, and his four children, Jacob, Kristen, Grant, and Andrew. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, bicycling, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Jim, connect with him on LinkedIn.