Building Financial Resilience
Inflation, roller-coaster markets, global events, and life circumstances can test anyone's fortitude. You may not feel ready to handle these pressure-filled times and might worry about the potential effects on your financial well-being. Fortunately, you can take steps to build the resilience you need to help handle the turbulence and hopefully emerge even stronger.
Focus on the Foundation
Developing a new budget or reviewing an existing one may help reduce stress by reminding you that you still have control over many aspects of your personal finances. A budget outlines your income and expenses and shows how much money is coming in compared to how much money is going out. If you find that you are spending more than you realized, you can make adjustments.
An important companion to a budget is an emergency fund. When an unexpected expense comes up, you can use your emergency reserves to cover it, instead of dipping into long-term savings or racking up costly credit-card debt that could throw your budget off track at a time you can least afford it. Consider starting an emergency fund and build it up over time.
Stress-Test Your Portfolio
When you're investing for retirement or another financial goal, assessing the potential impact of various scenarios may help you prepare for unexpected events. This may be done using computer simulations to analyze how your portfolio might perform. Doing this at regular intervals may help take some of the emotion out of decision-making during stressful times, helping you address gaps and opportunities.
There is no assurance that a simulation will be accurate. Because of the many variables involved, you should not rely on simulations without realizing their limitations. All investing involves risk, and there is no assurance that any financial strategy will be successful.
Prepare for the Future
Of course, you're never going to be prepared for every financial scenario. But developing a written financial strategy and reviewing it periodically may help you thoughtfully navigate life's twists and turns. It documents and organizes the pieces of your financial picture, helping you stay focused on the future as you weather the current storms.
Building financial resilience is an ongoing process, and it's never too late to start. Becoming better positioned for downturns can help you feel more confident that you can handle whatever challenges come your way.