The new economic stimulus bill could have an impact on your personal finances, but for most people, that impact will be small. Indeed, the new economic stimulus bill, with its limited tax cuts and credits, as well as toned-down job creation efforts is actually a reminder that the trillions already spent are really for the big guys.
Talk of personal accountability for poor financial decisions is nice, but only we regular folks will really be held to it as the big guys are fully bailed out — so now is the time for you to stop worrying so much about economic stimulus (and so-called “patriotic spending”) and start fixing your own finances. Here are some of the things you can do to help fix your finances in this time of economic turmoil:
- Curb your spending. Take stock of your expenses and cut out the unnecessary items. Or at least pull back. Get used to spending less, so that if changes are forced upon you, it won’t be as financial devastating.
- Consider your financial options. If you are concerned about job loss, look at your options. Additionally, consider the options you have for retirement plans, spousal income, possible home business income, or passive income from dividend-yielding investments.
- Start an emergency fund. It is very important that you consider starting an emergency fund. Having at least $1,000 to start an emergency fund is a good way to make sure many unexpected expenses are covered — without you having to turn to credit cards. After you have paid down some debt, add to your savings and work toward building up enough to cover 3-6 months of expenses.
- Pay down debt. You want to try to get rid of debt. The interest (and credit cards keep raising interest rates) will eat into your income, and once you free up that money that was going to debt, you can do so much more with it.
Can you think of other things you can do to fix your finances at this time?