Money Thought Leader: Joy Alford-Brand
Happy July, ladies! Can you believe this year is already half over?
It has gone by in a flash, except for things like inflation and the price of gas. Also, what’s up with the airline industry? Trying to get in your revenge travel is going to be a trick since ticket prices are soaring and flights are getting canceled all over the place. With all the turmoil going on, what’s an over-45 girl on the go, to do?
“If there are any mistakes or inaccuracies, take steps to get them fixed as soon as you can.”
Steps For Money Makeover:
We’re going to start with my favorite thing, the basics. If you’ll recall, last year we did a mid-year money makeover in July. I think we need to make that an annual tradition, don’t you? The month of July is a great time to step back and take a look at your financial big picture so you can make adjustments for the next six months.
1. Get Your Free Credit Reports:
First, don’t forget to run your FREE credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. Give them a thorough review and make sure they look correct. Don’t forget that your credit score is calculated mainly from the information contained in your credit report. If there are any mistakes or inaccuracies, take steps to get them fixed as soon as you can.
Don’t forget my Four Month Rule, you should be running your credit reports every four months to keep an eye on your credit. If you want more information on that, you can check out my book Money Basics.
2. Review Your Budget:
Second, give that budget a good once over. Now, I’m not going to harp on this because we are all grown-ups here and we already know how important a budget is. However, because of the inflation situation, we can all use as much help in the wallet department as possible.
“Just remember, there’s still six months in 2022 and that’s plenty of time to put together a little nest egg.”
On that note, you might want to check to see if you have any subscriptions you are paying for that you aren’t using. It might be time to shop around for cheaper insurance, or re-think your cable subscription and opt for a cheaper streaming service instead. Television can be expensive, I’m just saying.
3. Save. Save. & Save.
Third, don’t forget to save for retirement! Again, I’m not going to harp on this. But, this is an important step for the money makeover. We already know that’s important. Just remember, there’s still six months in 2022 and that’s plenty of time to put together a little nest egg. Even beefing up your emergency fund is a good step toward a little financial security. If you think you’re too old to start seriously saving for retirement, check out my May 2022 article catch It’s Not Too Late To Save For Retirement . You’re never too old to start!
4, Get Ready For Student Loan Payments:
Fourth, on the off chance you, or one of your adult children, are one of the 45 million student loan borrowers, you could be back to making student loan payments soon. The coronavirus forbearance was extended until the end of August 2022. That means as soon as September 1, 2022, you could be back to having to make your student loan payment.
Hopefully, you’ve been making some payments all along, since interest has not been accruing during this forbearance. If you haven’t, that’s okay. Just get ready for the payments to resume this fall. I will say that because of the inflation situation, I won’t be surprised if the current administration extends it again. However, I wouldn’t rely on that as a given.
5. Pay Attention To Interest Rates:
“If you were thinking of re-financing, I would consider doing it sooner than later.”
Fifth, interest rates are starting to climb! The Fed has started raising interest rates in an effort to avoid a recession. We are now seeing interest rates on mortgages creeping up over 5%. If you were thinking of re-financing, I would consider doing it sooner than later.
Some Good News:
You know I always want to leave you with something a little upbeat to focus on financially. Let’s kick things off with some news about rents. It looks like rents are starting to stabilize a bit, which is good news for folks who are feeling the pinch in their wallets. If you’ve had to move in the last six months or a year, you’ll understand what I mean.
Now is a great time to invest in mutual funds. While I am not a financial advisor and I would never tell someone how to invest their money, I do know that it’s smart to buy low and sell high! Since the market is down a bit, you might want to ask a financial advisor if it would be a good time for you to invest.
Start Making Their Own Money:
Finally, because of an overall shortage of workers, it looks like teenagers are going back to work. That’s right, the current state of the job market means more employment opportunities for teenagers and young people. That’s great news for parents everywhere! If you have a young person on your couch, now is a good time to (ahem), encourage them to get a job and start making their own money. What a wonderful thing that would be, am I right? You know I am!
Have Fun Too:
Okay, ladies, it’s summertime! While we might be experiencing more financial fallout from the pandemic, let’s do our best to put that aside for a bit and enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather. Even if you are committed to the steps for your money makeover, you can still enjoy your summer.
Get out and about at your local parks, botanical gardens, or even in your neighborhoods. Meet people and smile. Treat yourself to an iced coffee and enjoy some people-watching. Spend time thinking how fun it is to live life and be happy! Life is happening now, so enjoy it!
About the Author:
Joy Alford-Brand is an author, public speaker and attorney. She graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 1994 and she received her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law in 1998. Her main area of practice is Bankruptcy. She is admitted in North Carolina where she lives and works. Joy founded newcashview.com in 2015 as a platform through which she could help others work toward financial freedom and peace of mind! For more information, check out newcashview.com.