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What You Need to Know to Get Through This Volatile Financial Time

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

As we’ve entered 2022 and the pandemic is still upon us, a lot of Minters are asking, “What do I need to know about what’s happening in the economy and stock market, and how does it all affect my finances?”

When investing, whether it is in real estate, the stock market, or crypto market, it is always important to remember your long-term game plan and investment philosophy. There are a lot of new investors on the scene and many have not yet experienced bear markets or extreme market volatility and don’t understand the principles of not reacting emotionally when they see their accounts down. If you are investing for the future, then focus on having the right allocation mix, understanding market volatility and risk, and don’t react emotionally when you see your accounts down. Remember, short-term fluctuation is not a long-term loss and you only lose money if you sell at a loss. 

Spend time to learn, or remind yourself of, smart investing principles and never panic, sell, or get lost in your emotions when it comes to making financial decisions. The news will always (and I mean always) be a chicken little crying, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling,” but any successful investor will tell you to keep your investment philosophy front and center, and not react to market swings unless something major changes in your financial life and, therefore, changes your goals.

To help you review your finances and get an updated plan for 2022, here are 10 important things you can do right now with your money: 

1. Don’t panic

Easier said than done, but during volatile times, it is important to remain calm and centered and not react from a place of fear. It is wise to express any emotions you may have about what is going on with a trusted family member, friend, or licensed therapist and use your network of professionals to help guide you during this time. Take advantage of this time to start meditating or doing other activities to keep you centered and calm. 

2. Have a plan

You always need a solid budget and financial plan, and in times like these, you can then be more present and clear with what is happening. Most people who have a solid budget and financial plan that they’ve set up in Mint or have been working with a financial planner, will find that they don’t need to react much to the unforeseen circumstances and hopefully have been getting prepared for a market downturn. 

3. Review your plan with your financial planner

You should review your plan often, but especially during times like this, you can review again to ensure you are doing everything properly with your money. If you don’t have a financial planner, now is the time to get one. Check out for a planner who fits your needs.

4. Review your budget and cut out any unnecessary expenses

You can log into your Mint app and do a deep dive into all your monthly expenses to see if there is any thing you can cut out, like memberships or subscriptions you no longer use. With any freed up cash you create by eliminating or reducing expenses, you can decide what financial goal you want to save that for. Mint has a great feature to help you create financial goals and set up automatic savings toward them so you see the progress you’re looking for to reach those financial goals you have.

5. Consider refinancing debt into lower interest rates

The Federal interest rates are rising and that means now is a great time to lock in low rates before they continue to rise. Review the interest rates on credit cards, mortgages and other personal debts but make sure to talk to a professional as it does not always make sense to refinance debt. Do your research and make sure you understand your options carefully.

6. Don’t invest short-term money into long-term investments

This is a given but even more critical during this time. You should always have your short-term goals like Cash Cushion, Home Down Payment, and Travel in high yield savings accounts and not invested in the stock market. The reason is because you never want to take money from your investment accounts when they may be down (for example, the current scenario) to cover your short-term money needs. 

7. Keep the long-term in mind with long-term investments 

This is also a given but keep in mind that you should only invest your money in the stock market for the longer term, as you have time on your side to recover from this and whatever comes in the future.

8. Invest excess cash

Having an adequate cash cushion is key throughout your lifetime as it allows for a cushion during emergencies, times of reduced income or major unexpected expenses. That said, having too much in cash is not good, especially with inflation at about 6.8% right now. Review how much you need as a cash cushion and then invest the right in assets like real estate, the stock market, etc. that can help grow your money faster than inflation over time. 

9. Look for opportunities

Are there ways you can make more money right now? Use this time to use your unique skill set and create an online course or create and sell other products or services that provide value to others. Because most are left with more time on their hands, choose to use it wisely. 

10. Educate yourself on money management and investing principles

Continue reading blogs like this to educate yourself on smart money management strategies and investing principles. Mint has a lot of valuable money content that can help you at any stage of life. Now could be the perfect time to kick your financial literacy into high gear. 

Hope this blog provided you some helpful insight to help you make the most of 2022!

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Brittney Castro

Brittney Castro, CFP®, CRPC®, AAMS® is the founder and CEO of Financially Wise, Inc., Entrepreneur and Speaker. Connect with her on Instagram or Linkedin. More from Brittney Castro

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