Key Steps to Protect Your Finances During Troubled Times

Our experiences during the last several years have seen us witness unprecedented times. We went from business as usual, to the world going into sudden lockdowns. Entire sectors of the economy crumbled as social distancing became the law of the land. Instead of working at the office, we were confined to work from home. Businesses closed and lots of people were left without income. When the pandemic began to subside, we saw the economy recover rapidly and there was hope once again. Unfortunately, the quick return of the glory days was derailed by new problems like soaring inflation, a possible recession and supply chain issues. All of this creates a highly chaotic environment and a need to protect our finances in these troubled times. Here are some things you can do today for a better financial future.

Refinancing Your Student Loans

One of the best financial moves you can make is to refinance your existing student loans. If you went to college and financed your education with annual student loans, it’s likely that you have debt obligations that each carry different terms and interest rates. It’s possible to simplify your student loan debt by seeking a consolidation loan that rolls your obligations together into one, single promissory note. If you do your research into how to refinance student loans, you can look for the loan that is best for you. Your new obligation should save you money on annual interest and the total amount of money you’ll owe. It’s also quite possible that you’ll be able to pay everything off in a shorter amount of time when you consolidate. The savings can be substantial and will really help improve your financial situation.

Save Money on Your Monthly Food Budget

Shopping at the grocery store used to be enjoyable. Now, without the knowledge of some smart money hacks to spend less, it can often be quite depressing at times as every company seems to be marking up their items to extraordinary levels. In order to survive the price gouging and still feed your family, you have to take a new approach to grocery shopping. First, shop the sales at your two or three favorite stores. When the ads come out each week take the time to go through them and find the specials you can stock up on. Secondly, change your buying habits and do not buy processed foods. Instead, buy fresh produce that is reasonably priced that week and fresh meats too. You can stock up on grains such as rice and beans in raw form, and save money there too.

Consider Relocating to a Place with a Much Lower Cost of Living

If you want to do a more complete makeover on your finances and the money you have to spend each month, consider moving to a rural location with a dramatically lower annual cost of living. With the pandemic, many employers gave the nod to extensive work from home programs and there are lots of companies out there that will now let you work from anywhere. Given this development, it’s possible to leave your high-cost urban lifestyle behind and start enjoying time in the countryside. When you relocate to a less populous area, you are going to get a lot more for your money in terms of housing and the like. Often, your property tax bills will be far lower too.

Hedge Against Inflation

Inflation is a common problem for people all over the world. When prices go up, it can be hard to keep up with the cost of living. Inflation can also hurt your wallet by making your savings less valuable over time. There are ways to avoid or reduce the impact of inflation on your life. One way to do this is to use savings to hedge against inflation. This means putting your money into investments that will not lose value if prices rise. Examples include stocks, bonds, real estate, and gold. Stocks are a good way to invest because they offer the potential for long-term growth. Bonds are great because they provide stability and protect investors from inflation. Real estate is one of the best investment options as it offers the potential for capital gains as well as rental income.