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51% say an emergency fund…

51% say an emergency fund…

More than 50% of people say an emergency fund is a higher financial priority post-pandemic

 
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The coronavirus pandemic changed a lot of things for Americans, including work, family life and more.

It also made many reconsider their personal finances.

Now, as the health crisis seemingly wanes, 51% of Americans said having an emergency fund is now a higher financial priority than it was before Covid, according to a survey from financial services website Personal Capital. The survey of more than 2,000 American adults was conducted online by The Harris Poll for Empower Retirement between March 23 and April 5.

“I think the pandemic really highlighted for a lot of people how important it is to have an emergency fund,” said Michelle Brownstein, a certified financial planner and senior vice president of Personal Capital’s private client group. “I think a lot of people were put in a very tough financial position, to put it nicely.”

How much to save

While everyone’s financial situation is different, experts recommend having at least a few months of living expenses, such as rent, utilities and necessities, in an emergency savings fund.

“Our general rule of thumb is that you should have three months to six months of expenses in cash savings at all time,” said Brownstein, adding that the exact amount is based on individual preference.

For example, if you’re part of a two-income household where both people have steady employment, three months of expenses in savings may be enough. But if your situation is more volatile, like you’re self-employed or make most of your money from commissions, you may want to have more in savings, she said.

“You have to decide how much risk you’re comfortable taking,” said Tania Brown, a CFP and coach at SaverLife, a nonprofit focused on saving.

Ways to save

Of course, some people may find it difficult to save, especially if they went into debt during the pandemic.

The first thing people should do is make sure they have the basics covered, such as food, rent and other necessities. Then, they should plan to rebuild savings, even if it will take some time.

“I may be slow, but it’s OK,” said Brown. She suggested that families earmark any excess in their budget — even if it’s $5 per week, or month — just to get started.

“Start below what you think is comfortable — like, really easy — and then slowly bump it up,” said Brown. Making an attainable savings goal sets you up for success and helps you build a good savings habit.

For many, the goal of having three months of expenses saved seems insurmountable and may keep them from starting at all, said Brownstein.

“Putting it off is only delaying getting there,” said Brownstein.

Another good way to begin saving post-pandemic is to work against lifestyle creep, which is increasing your budget as you return to work or make more money.

“It is so tempting, once you have a job, to immediately go back to your old lifestyle,” said Brown. “But this is a perfect opportunity to really establish a firm financial foundation.

By keeping your budget in check, you will have more money to allocate to savings, she said.

And, any extra money should immediately go into savings, she said. For example, families eligible for the new monthly child tax credit payments should use some of that money to rebuild emergency funds once their needs are addressed.

Luckily, many Americans seem to have made necessary changes in order to save more for the future. Nearly 40% said they were spending less on non-essential items, including 46% of Gen Z respondents, 48% of millennials and 47% of Gen Xers, according to the Personal Capital survey.

In addition, 37% said they found that post-pandemic, they can be happy spending less than they’re used to and 35% said they can live off less than they previously thought.

Source. Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

5 “money blocks” that women face

5 “money blocks” that women face

Women face a very different relationship to finances, money, and investing than men do, because they often have different experiences with it.

Women tend to view money not just as a means to an end but as a tool to improve lives, build communities, and create the life they want to live.

Unfortunately, most women (whether single or partnered, divorced or widowed, retired or still working) face internal “money blocks” that make them feel overwhelmed, unsure, and unheard.

I know that these internal “money blocks,” or scripts we tell ourselves, are far more than internal programming.

They are formed as a result of bad experiences with financial professionals, societal pressures, and even family situations.

Many women even report feeling judged or not listened to by their financial professionals (which is downright unfair and disrespectful).

I’m emailing you today to help you overcome the 5 biggest “money blocks” that many women face, so you can finally experience confidence, clarity, and power in your financial life.

The good news is, these “money blocks” are easier to overcome than you’d think.

All you need to do is uncover the source and replace the “money block” with a new, positive framework to rewire your internal script.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions to do that inside this FREE Guide: Unlock Your “Money Blocks”: How Women Can Break Through These 5 Barriers to Experience Financial Empowerment.

In this easy, 5-minute read you’ll:

  • Discover why women’s relationships to money are fundamentally different from men’s
  • Learn how to overcome these 5 internal conflicts and finally feel empowered and in control
  • Get clarity and confidence in your financial journey

Will today be the day that marks your lifelong transformation with money so you can feel empowered and in control?

Christy Robinson, CFP®

Founder/Financial Planner

Phone: 561-437-5400

Email: [email protected]

Negative self-talk women experience (subconsciously)

Negative self-talk women experience (subconsciously)

“I’m not good enough...”
“I’m not smart enough...”
“I just don’t get it…”

We’ve all experienced this type of self-talk, and — when it comes to money — this self-talk can sabotage not only our financial future but our overall relationship with money.

Because women often have different experiences with money than men do.

More often than not, this self-talk happens unconsciously and creates barriers that keep us from experiencing confidence, clarity, and power.

In this free guide, you’ll discover the 5 biggest barriers that women face when it comes to their relationship with money.

You’ll also learn how to unlock these “money blocks” and rewire your inner relationship to finance.

After all, wealth alone will not give you fulfillment or make you feel in control if your internal scripts are filled with negative self beliefs.

My goal in sending you this guide is to help you reconnect with your power, take back control, and feel confident with your relationship to money.

So, are you ready to transform your negative self beliefs?

Are you ready to feel heard, empowered, and confident about your money life?

Are you ready to get a fresh start on your financial journey?

If you answered “YES!” (and I hope you did), then I encourage you to take just 5 minutes and read the FREE Guide below.

After you do, please “reply” to this email and let me know which of these 5 barriers ring true with you.

Read Now: Unlock Your “Money Blocks”: How Women Can Break Through These 5 Barriers to Experience Financial Empowerment.

Christy Robinson, CFP®

Founder/Financial Planner

Phone: 561-437-5400

Email: [email protected]

5 Money Moves Every Woman Should Make

5 Money Moves Every Woman Should Make

5 Money Moves Every Woman Should Make

by Dana George | July 6, 2021

A woman sitting on the couch in her living room reading paperwork in her hand.

Image source: Getty Images

Financial planning does not have to be tough. It all begins with taking one step at a time.

It is said that variety is the spice of life. That may be why most of us have friends who are nothing like us.

While I study every nickel and dime of our budget, I once had a neighbor whose husband tightly controlled the family pursestrings and became prickly if she got too close. When she would complain to me about money or said something about finances that I know to be patently untrue, I wanted to scream, “Get in there and take some control!”

But I didn’t say anything — mostly because she seemed satisfied with the arrangement, but I would have liked to. If I could tell every woman on the planet to take these five money moves, I would.

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1. Be prepared to take over

American men live, on average, a little over 76 years. American women live, on average, a little over 81 years. In short, women live longer.

If you’re not already handling the family budget (or at least playing a supporting role), prepare to take over with the enthusiasm of a Broadway understudy. Assume that you’re going to be around for a while, that you will one day need to take over financial planning, and use this time to learn how to do it right.

There are excellent resources available, including our website, books, and financial podcasts. Challenge yourself to learn one new aspect of personal finances each week.

Let’s say this week you look into the role the Federal Reserve plays in setting the interest rate. Next week you might want to learn more about the differences between stocks and bonds. No matter how much foundational knowledge you possess, learning more can give you the confidence you need to make money work for you.

2. Know where the important stuff is

If your partner takes care of finances, insist on finding out where all important papers are kept, including:

  • Bank statements
  • Monthly bills
  • Previous year tax returns
  • Wills
  • Safe-deposit key
  • Important papers (like the lease agreement or mortgage)

If you are one half of a couple, having easy access to financial papers can lower your stress levels when your partner is out of commission or passes away. If you’re single, providing easy access to essential documents can reduce the stress levels of the people you love when it’s time for them to step in.

3. Prioritize health

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that approximately 31 million American citizens were without health insurance in 2020, and they expect the number to grow significantly. When you consider that two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies can be traced back to medical bills, you begin to realize how precarious it is to live without coverage, even if you don’t believe you can afford it.

Look for the cheapest health insurance with the most significant coverage — enough to get you through an illness or injury and help you sleep better at night. An excellent place to start is healthcare.gov. There you will find insurance options available in your state, along with how much that coverage costs and whether you might receive federal subsidies to help cover premium costs.

4. Have your own money

Back to that neighbor who seemed so happy that her husband “took care of the money.” If she wanted to purchase a plant for their yard, she had to run it by him. If she wanted a meal out, she asked permission.

I get that some relationships work that way, and as long as it’s not a case of financial abuse, it’s none of my business. Still, here are a few things having money of your own can do for you:

  • Give you a greater sense of autonomy.
  • Provide the opportunity to “practice” financial skills. For example, investing a small amount of money allows you to see firsthand how compound interest can work in your favor.
  • Cut down on how often you need to use a credit card. When you have a small cash reserve put away, there is less chance that you’ll have to pull out a credit card to cover an emergency.
  • Allow you to pursue your interests without any drama. Let’s say you collect salt shakers shaped like frogs, but your partner thinks they’re ridiculous. Having a bit of your own money means each of you can pay for things the other finds silly without sparking an argument.

5. Invest

S&P Global conducted a study two years ago showing that only 26% of American women invest in the stock market, even though 41% thought it was a great time to do so. We could get into the 1,001 ways women and people of color have been boxed out of wealth-building practices through the generations. But, if a woman can cover her bills each month and has an emergency fund in place, it’s time to take the bull by the horns by investing.

Let’s say you can swing a $300 per month investment. Putting the money into savings may seem more secure, but today’s low interest rates aren’t keeping up with inflation. That means that you may have a nest egg of roughly $72,000 in 20 years, but in terms of real dollars, it won’t be worth as much then as it is now (due to inflation).

If you invest that same $300 each month in a financial vehicle earning an average of 7%, the money could grow to more than $147,000 in 20 years. If you’re particularly risk averse, a good stock broker for beginners can talk you through options for balancing your risks.

There are currently more than 3 billion women in the world, and we are a powerful bunch. It’s up to each of us to take control of our financial futures.

SOURCE: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/5-money-moves-every-woman-should-make

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