Jan 18, 2021 08:39 PM EST
Safety Nets that Save You Money
Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go 'round. The problem is there often doesn't seem to be enough money to cover all the "necessary" expenses in life. There are, however, a number of safety nets that can be set up to cut back on some of those neverending expenses.
Some companies help with this process by offering discounts or programs that can save a few dollars a month. Even adding a small monthly expense like roadside assistance can help save money in the long run. There is a lengthy list of roadside assistance companies to help you find the best fit for your needs and budget.
Whether it's bundling expenses or sacrificing a few dollars a month to build a savings account, safety nets should help stretch your income without cutting too many corners.
Manage Your Money
The first step in any process is to evaluate the current state of affairs. The same is true for a budget or current spending habits. It's important to look at where your money is being spent. Each expense has to be identified and then categorized: Is it necessary or unnecessary? This process will help reset your approach to money and spending.
Next it's time to manage your money. Oftentimes we allow our money to dictate our lives rather than using our money to achieve the goals and desires we have for our life. One way to accomplish healthy money management is to create an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a small fund, usually between $1,000 and $1,500, set in a savings account and left alone.
This money is meant to be used only in big emergency situations - car trouble, unexpected emergency expenses, etc. This first safety net helps you breathe when those moments of crisis arise.
Once the emergency fund is established, it's time to get any debt under control. The larger your personal debt ceiling, the less money you have to spend or save each month. Those pesky monthly payments for credit cards and other debt collectors add up quickly.
It's important to start paying down or paying off debt so that more of your income can be used for saving or living. Select the smallest debt amount and work to pay it off first. Once that has been paid off, move to the next smallest debt amount until the debt is more manageable or paid off completely.
It may seem daunting, but you can get a handle on your spending and make your money work for you. If you find yourself needing more help check out these other tips to help stop debt from controlling your life. These tips will help you alleviate a lot of financial stress so you can spend more time creating safety nets for yourself and your family.
Diversify Your Income
A more creative safety net is the establishment of multiple income streams. Multiple income streams simply provide additional revenue outside your main source of income. These side hustles can act as a creative outlet, but can also help in case your main source of income disappears.
Not every side hustle will work for your schedule or needs. It's important to look for side hustles that are both scalable and flexible so they don't become an added stressor. Look for jobs that not only allow you to work when and how your schedule allows but also provide an acceptable pay rate.
Not all safety nets bring in large financial gains. Some safety nets are about making small changes to how your money is spent. One example of this is bundling opportunities with companies you are already using.
In many cases, service providers offer discounts and other benefits when multiple products or services are used. Any savings you receive may seem inconsequential, but they can add up to bigger payoffs.
Bundle packages are often talked about in regards to insurance policies. If you use the same insurance company for home, auto, and life insurance, then you can get a nice discount on the monthly cost.
This bundling can also be used with many streaming or cable service providers. If you are paying separately for multiple services, your provider may offer a discounted price when you enter into a bundle. Be sure to call your various service providers to inquire about any available bundle discounts you may be missing out on.
Some safety nets are about the long-term payoff rather than short-term benefits. One of those long-term safety nets is a retirement account. Retirement is often far from our minds, especially for millennials, but it should be something that is considered more often when looking for financial freedom.
Retirement accounts take a small amount from your paycheck and set it aside until you reach retirement age. Usually a small amount of your paycheck is put into a retirement account for you. This makes it a relatively painless process with a big future payout.
Another big benefit of retirement accounts is company matching. Some companies will match retirement contributions and help grow your future nest egg. These contributions vary widely, so it's important to talk this all through with your human resources department.
Other safety nets seem counterintuitive. Rather than cut monthly costs or expenses, some safety nets require an additional monthly cost. This additional cost is small and works to protect you in case of an emergency. A perfect example of this kind of safety net is roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance is a service provided by many insurance companies. It can be used when a customer encounters car trouble and needs assistance. If you run out of gas, need a tow, or have a flat tire, roadside assistance can be used to get the help you need at little to no additional cost to you.
A number of national insurance companies provide this service, so it can be easily added to many existing insurance policies. Providers like Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and Nationwide all offer roadside assistance programs. There are additional stand-alone providers as well. Of course, the price and what is included will vary, so it's important to call your provider and ask about their roadside assistance program.
There are financial safety nets that you can implement now. Consider some of the ones discussed above and continue to evaluate any financial roadblocks that may be keeping you from reaching your money goals.
Laura Gunn is an auto insurance expert who researches and writes for the auto insurance comparison site, 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com. She is passionate about car owners finding savings without cutting coverage or peace of mind.
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