It’s unrealistic to think that your life will always be going uphill or downhill. The more realistic depiction of life is that it’s a series of twists and turns, with the occasional loops to take you out of your comfort zone. For those especially hard turns, however, you’ll want to make sure your life is not on the line.
Some call it resilience; others call it preparation. Here’s how you can protect your future:
Make Savings a Priority
No matter how much or how little you earn, saving should be part of your monthly budget. Why? Because you can easily lose your income if a recession or a depression happens. Even if the economy is going well, your ability to get a job might also be tested.
For all these instances, you’ll want a financial cushion to tide you over until you can get back on your feet. Saving doesn’t have to mean you have less money to spend on essentials, though. If you save 20% of your income and use the remaining 50% for your groceries, you can still buy everything you need if you switch to wholesale or replace one expensive item with something more affordable. Consider where you’re buying your groceries as well. Depending on the supermarket you go to, you might be paying more than the average consumer.
Allow Yourself the Little Pleasures
Protecting your future doesn’t mean ignoring the present or wallowing in the past. You may have come from a financially insecure household, and this has resulted in you always wanting a decent emergency fund for the rainy days. Still, there should be enough room for you to enjoy what you’re earning today. Go ahead and splurge on your favorite Korean sunscreen or go out to dinner with your friends once a month. Take the family out on a trip.
These are the memories and experiences you’ll never replicate. If you don’t feel fulfilled right now, your biggest roadblock in the future will be your mental health.
Live Below Your Means
This feels like a repeat of making savings a priority, but you can still be saving and not living below your means. Especially if you have credit cards, you may be tempted to buy extravagant items and pay for them through installments. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for items you need, but for wants, such as luxury items and expensive trips, you’re running the risk of incurring debt you don’t have the means to pay off. One great rule to follow is this: if you can’t buy two of it, you can’t afford it. Keep saving until you can pay for it by cash, eliminating the expensive interests you have to pay later, or ask yourself if you really need it at all.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can definitely buy you peace of mind. While you’re earning well and you’re young, use your salary wisely to live well in the present and be protected from any future challenges.