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Lauren Rebbel

Six Ways Women Can Gain Financial Momentum Post Pandemic

Lauren Rebbel

August 17th, 2021 | Written by

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted many working women. Women with younger children felt this struggle the most when daycare and school doors closed. Many working women were forced to put their career ambitions on the backburner to suddenly homeschool their children and provide full daycare.  

As restrictions are easing and life is getting back to normal, it’s time for your finances to do the same.  Let’s again take charge of our money, become engaged in our family’s finances, and regain financial momentum post-pandemic.  

Rebuild your emergency fund   

If you needed to dip into your emergency fund in the last year, you’re not alone. With layoffs and incomes being reduced for many, emergency funds were put up to the test. It’s now time to rebuild those funds. As a rule of thumb, three to six months in an emergency fund is recommended. However, you know your family situation better than anyone. If a larger emergency fund is necessary, then work to build it.    

Pay down debts  

If you incurred new debts during the pandemic or maxed out credit cards, work hard to get them paid off.  Begin with the highest interest rate liability, then work your way down. Talk to your credit card companies about interest rate decreases.  

Negotiate with your service providers. Call your cable company, alarm company, internet provider, etc. There are savings to be had if you put in a little time and work into making calls and asking for a lower price/interest rate.   

Consider refinancing longer-term liabilities at lower interest rates. Mortgage rates are still very low. Refinancing the same term at a lower rate is a prudent consideration.  

Live within your means

Put yourself on a budget and stick to it. As the world is opening up, we all want to vacation again. However, you must be mindful of how much that vacation will cost. Budget, save and plan.   

Assess how you are currently spending your money.  What are you paying for that you no longer need? What can you cut from your life to create extra room and money in the budget? Give a hard look at all of your automatic subscription services (magazines, television, memberships).    

Reevaluate financial goals

Sit down and give thought to your financial goals. If you are in a relationship, discuss this with your partner. Did the pandemic make you realize you want to retire early? Possibly you are still working for large future expenditures that are no longer important. Possibly, you recognize a few more years of work would bring much-needed financial security. Having an open conversation with your partner and realigning your goals will help you better plan and effectively execute.   

Something is better than nothing

When it comes to saving and planning for retirement, the “all or nothing approach” is ineffective. If you can’t contribute what you would like to your retirement fund, that’s ok – just do something. It is critically important that you continue to save and invest. There will never be a perfect time to save for your future. Something will always seem more presently important. Start small if you have to and then increase your savings each year.  

Invest

Don’t fear the stock market.  It is a tool designed to help your money grow.  Don’t let fear keep you on the sidelines.  Work with a financial advisor who can craft an investment strategy to help you reach your financial goals while being mindful of your risk tolerance. Consistently contribute. Understand that there will be volatility. Stay the course.   

 

This article was originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal, Aug 2021.  

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    This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide any investment advice or provide the basis for any investment decisions. You should consult your financial advisor prior to making any decision based on any specific information contained herein.

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