Whatever the economic climate, following a few financial principles can help protect your nest egg and retirement plan.
Remember that the best way to ride out the ups and downs of the stock market is to maximize the power of dollar cost averaging—investing a certain fixed amount consistently, regardless of market fluctuations. While the technique does not ensure profit or protect against loss, history shows that you’ll make up 80 percent of your bear market loss within the first year of recovery—but only if you stay in the market.
Take a look at your regular bills and find places to cut costs. An easy place to start: auto and homeowner’s insurance—even if you’ve been with the same agency for a long period of time. Try to get a quote from a number of insurers every two years.
To keep your all-important credit score attractive, pay your bills on time, limit the number of credit cards you have and avoid financing big-ticket items all at once. Credit scores affect the rates you pay for loans and credit cards, car insurance and more. Protecting your score can be a smart way to save.
In uncertain times, having good legal protection makes sense. It can help limit your vulnerability and can be more affordable than you might expect.
Adding a second or third job is a great way to get through a crunch. You might even start your own business on the side to earn some extra cash—just be sure to keep start-up costs to a minimum.
Create An Emergency Fund
Experts recommend having an emergency fund of at least six months’ savings. A few tips: Open a separate savings account or money market account and designate it for emergency only. You might also put your single bills or coins in a jar each day, or once you’ve paid off a big debt, keep those payments coming—into your emergency fund.
Chris Wallace an independent representative of Primerica located at 456 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. For more information, email columnist@TheWindhamEagle.com.