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The economy is more cyclical than the sun’s daily dance, the pull of ocean tides, or the crest and crash of a kitten after catnip.
The twin flame of pleasure and pain is reflected in the stock market.
Some years are boom and are bust.
It’s feeling busted at the moment.
Similar to other cycles, there is little I can do besides prepare for the crash.
The only thing certain is uncertainty.
The Balance states,
“Financial security involves having enough money to comfortably cover your monthly expenses, recover from financial setbacks, and save for your future. It’s also about having low financial stress and feeling in control of your money.”
Financial security isn’t a onesie that fits all. Instead, it’s a hand-made creation that can absorb future growth and girdle current desires.
Classy values with modern material.
For this classy yet sassy gal, financial security is income that covers basic bills, a gaggle of wants and whims, standard emergencies, and shiny future goals.
Currently, I have an 8-5, 5 days a week of active income for financial security. The future goal is passive income with optional part-time employment.
Optional is the operative word, not mandatory.
As a goal digger, I have more goals than a middle child should.
This year, my financial goal was 12k in 12 months. So far, I’ve hustled 10k in 11 months. This goal was to satisfy personal whims and adulting demands including 3k for annual bills, 3k for travel, and 6k for the Roth IRA.
To obtain my lofty goal, I’ve:
- Churned credit cards
- Cashed in credit card rewards
- Sold stuff
- Picked up side hustles
- Used cashback apps
- Collected refunds and rebates
- Earned a monetary award
- Volunteered for holidays and overtime
- Leveraged FSA (Flexible Spending Account) for medicalish related expenses (sunscreen, mileage to doctor/dental appointments, massages, etc.)
Each amount was small compared to the whole, but when lumped together, they leveraged financial security during economic uncertainty.
Measure & Manage
Similar to most sentient beings, I can’t predict the future. The closest thing to a prediction is looking at the lens of the past. Even then, it’s flawed with inflation and circumstances.
Yet, there is value.
Using my zero-sum budget, I can track expenses from last year and compare them to this year.
Measurement is important when trying to estimate 6 months of expenses for an emergency fund or gauging this year’s annual bills by probing prior bills or examining how much I blew on travel last year and what expectations are for this year.
A budget is a blueprint for building financial security during economic uncertainty.
Last year, I had a surprise $685 medical bill from copious copays 2 years prior. It was a shock, but I had an emergency fund where I could quickly deploy funds to cover the cost.
The bill was put to use during tax season since I claimed it as medical expenses and recouped some loss.
This year, the copious copays cropped up again with a $297 bill, but I had insulated my emergency fund accordingly.
Past transactions can leverage future actions.
Declutter & Maintain
I keep things simple.
Simple is easy to maintain. When life turns into a cascade of expensive events, simple is what I cling to when economic uncertainty threatens to pitch financial security into an eddy.
That’s why minimalism sings to my soul.
Minimalism isn’t just for physical stuff it’s financial stuff too.
I streamline financial security by decluttering bills to maintain the minimum. I don’t purchase satellite TV, gym memberships, or magazine subscriptions.
But at one point, I did.
Eventually, I ran out of ways to save Pinterest boards and started experimenting with what I could do. I wanted to see how uncomfortable life would be with one less bill.
Turns out, not bad!
Per the unspoken creed of all savvy savers, I preferred bolstering my finances over someone else’s.
Decluttering finances and maintaining the minimum helps when anomalies show up too. In the before times, when interest rates tanked, Mr. BuLL and I refinanced our mortgage multiple times to capture an interest rate smaller than a 3-year-old.
Beware the wrath of the terrible threes!
Financial Security during Economic Uncertainty
Trying to predict future calamities and their repercussions isn’t my hobby; it’s how to increase copays for counseling sessions.
Instead of focusing my money and mind on things outside my control, I need to focus energy on what I can control: enjoying the present while insulating against the future.