• Harry N. Stout

294- Managing Your Money in Uncertain Times


I am writing this post the morning that Russia invaded Ukraine. This event has the stock markets reeling and showing significant volatility, commodity prices soaring and carbon-based energy costs on the rise. So the question for you is, What actions should you take to better manage your money in uncertain times? When times get difficult and unplanned world events take place, you need to pay more attention to money matters.


Here are some ideas for you to deal with this unsettling time:

  1. Stay relaxed but increase your focus on money matters. Events like this have happened in the past and will in the future. You need to manage through them.

  2. Implement better digital hygiene. A cyberattack could happen. You should revisit your passwords and use of multi-factor authentication to protect your digital presence.

  3. Lock your credit reports to keep them accurate and free from tampering.

  4. Inflation has been increasing to over 40-year highs. In my view, it is likely to stay elevated for some time. To combat this silent tax you could benefit by taking a careful look at your living expenses to see what and where you can reduce your living expenses to preserve cash flow.

  5. Look to better manage your consumption of energy. Energy costs will likely spike in the short-term and increase in the long-term as the transition from carbon fuels takes place. It will pay to look at your home and transportation related energy consumption and to find ways to minimize them.

  6. Revisit your investing and saving risk appetite and adjust your holdings accordingly. I would make any changes only after getting the advice of a professional. You will read story after story of people exiting the equity markets only to miss a recovery in equity prices. Take a hard look at how much risk you are taking, for example, bitcoin has lost 50% of its value since its November 2021 high. Do you want to stay the course?

  7. Keep investing – dollar cost averaging works. Staying in the market and buying on dips can help create long-term wealth.

  8. Be sure your emergency fund is adequately funded. Having a fully funded amount of cash for that rainy day is really important. Take a look at what you accumulated and adjust the amount as needed.

  9. Lastly, validate all your insurance coverages to make sure they are up to date. Adjust coverage amounts, deductibles and coinsurance amounts consistent with your emergency fund assumptions and today’s risk tolerance.

Summary

When times become difficult, I have found it is always best to take a deep breath and think through what I need to do and when. I believe, given world events, it would be a great time to “tighten the ship” and take some responsible actions to protect your household and your money. Stay focused and in the game.


You can view a video of this post where I join Caleb Guilliams of BetterWeath to discuss this subject in more detail.

 

Ready to improve the quality of your financial life? Harry is the host of a new podcast from the FinancialVerse where he shares practical ways to relieve money stress and anxiety. Each 7- to 10-minute episode is designed to fit into your busy lifestyle.


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