There are a lot of signs pointing towards the US rebounding economically after the turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic. In June (2021), the country added 850,000 jobs, which is a lot more than expected and is roughly seven million below the February 2020 level. The consumer index is also at a 16-month high, which suggests that Americans are feeling optimistic about economic recovery. That being said, the last couple of years have been nothing if not unpredictable, and it can be hard to know whether to start making bigger investments or life changes against such an uncertain backdrop.
Does your old budget still make sense with the current prices and forecasts? At White River Credit Union, we’ve put together some tips for staying financially healthy as the world slowly opens up.
Reassess Your Goals and Your New Normal
After over a year of social distancing, changing circumstances, and restricted travel, many people are starting to go back to the activities they’ve missed. This makes it a great time to assess spending priorities and what is most important to you and your family. When you’re looking at the year ahead, take some time to go over your top financial goals and priorities and where you would like your money to go. Then, you can look at your budget and savings to make sure that they align with those goals.
During the pandemic, lots of people were forced to dip into their emergency savings funds in order to stay afloat. Now that we’re coming out of the pandemic, an important part of financial health will be to make sure funds are reallocated to savings so that you still have an emergency fund to call on. Even if earnings are steady right now, it pays to rebuild the emergency fund before spending too much, just in case. The rationale is that if you build an emergency cushion first, if you run into unexpected costs or setbacks, you will be able to recover without picking up more debt. If you’re looking to manage your personal savings accounts, we can help!
Review Prices and Markets
When you’re looking at your post-pandemic budget and trying to stay financially healthy, consider what the current prices and markets look like. Many prices have risen due to inflation, meaning that everyday expenses like gas and food have risen. These may seem like small things to consider, though it can have a big impact on your daily budget and your pre-pandemic budget may need to adjust. It pays to do a little extra research on costs for things like food if you’re allocating funds for a vacation, for example. Take some time to consider prices more widely, too, and also look at the markets to see whether bigger decisions like refinancing your home make sense right now.
White River Credit Union Can Help With Financial Planning
The pandemic put a lot of strain on financial health, and we’re here to help you assess your budget, goals, and savings so that you can feel financially healthy as the world reopens. White River Credit Union is committed to helping make 2021 a strong year for your finances and goals. Visit our WRCU learning area for more information, tools, investment services, and free credit union webinars for financial health and goal setting.