by Mark Thrivant
If past financial turmoil has taught us anything, it’s that maybe we should pay attention to the age-old clichés our parents and grandparents passed on to us. Take it one day at a time…the new reality for most Americans when it comes to financial recovery. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…a poster child for diversification. You get the idea. Keeping the “what’s old is new again” mantra in mind, here are some famous clichés from previ-ous generations that Thrivent Financial thinks could serve us well this year and beyond.
1.) Don’t cry over spilled milk. After a financial downturn, it is time to start putting the pieces back together. It might take a while (patience is a virtue after all), but you need to start somewhere.
2.) Save for a rainy day. Call it an emergency savings fund or rainy day fund. The idea is simple, but changing our behavior is not. Money is easy to spend and there’s no question that there is still plenty of “gotta have it now” in all of us. It’s time to slow down on spending and start sav-ing. Next, resist the temptation to raid your savings! While most Americans have plenty of credit card debt (and that issue needs to be addressed as part of your financial pic-ture), resist the temptation to raid the savings to pay it all off immediately. Also, resist the desire to raid the savings for cash purchases. If you succumb, whenever the fund is used, the amount withdrawn should be replenished as soon as possible.
3.) A penny saved is a penny earned. For an emergency savings fund, a standard savings account or money mar-ket account should meet your needs. However, thinking even longer-term, consider certificates of deposit (CDs). CDs help force you to commit your money for a period of time, to start making your savings a more permanent habit. It should be noted that the money is not accessible for the term.
4.) You’re walking on thin ice. In times of financial hardship, you may have had to sacrifice the standard financial protection that you always took for granted. If you ter-minated your life insurance contract, now is the time to begin shopping around for a new one. If something hap-pened to you, would your family be able to maintain their current lifestyle? Could they stay in the house so the kids would not have to move and switch schools? The time to protect your family is now. And, you know what they say, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
5.) Home is where the heart is. It’s also where much of your equity probably is, too. Look into home equity loans to help you consolidate debt and get back on your feet. Lending standards are now tighter, but banks want your business and will work with you to meet your needs.
6.) Another day, another dollar. While your savings should help protect you if you lose your job, what happens if you get sick or injured and cannot work for a period of time? Consider disability income insurance to help cover living expenses and protect your savings in case that happens.
7.) Lend a helping hand. Reach out to others in need through charitable giving and by volunteering your time and talents. There is plenty of need and every little bit helps.
8.) Stop and smell the roses. Remember your most important investment is time spent with family and friends.
Thrivent is a not-for-profit membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. For more information at www.thrivent.com, or contact Mark at 985.445.1777, Mark.Kinsbery-RDD@Thrivent.com