Opinion: It's possible to maintain long-term financial goals while navigating a job transition

2020 has been a tumultuous year for many people, but more so if you have lost your job. While it may feel impossible to control circumstances and contribute meaningfully to your financial goals, there are steps that can be taken to help stay the course and see you through to the other side.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has uprooted daily life in many ways, turning expectations on their head and adding uncertainty to already ambiguous situations – such as navigating unemployment and job transitions. If you find yourself in such a scenario this year, you may initially feel overwhelmed planning your next steps while also trying to maintain your long-term goals.

I suggest keeping three rules in mind:

  • Know your numbers.
  • Lower your costs.
  • Do not take on additional debt.

The budget is perhaps the most valuable money tool in your arsenal because it puts you in control, empowering you to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. When starting out, the budget usually resembles a hodgepodge of expenses like your morning coffee from Starbucks, groceries from Trader Joe’s, and random charges from Amazon.com.

Sit down with a glass of wine, grab your credit card and bank statements for the last two to three months and categorize your expenses. Online budget tools like Mint can help with this. Don’t stress out – you’ll find that 80% of the expenses are pretty obvious, like food, gas, groceries, entertainment, rent/mortgage, insurance and cable, etc. (Though you may spend an unnecessary amount of time trying to figure out what you bought at Total Wine for $30.86!).

The budget does not have to be perfect, especially in the beginning; over time, it gets much easier.  By itemizing your expenses, you often find that you're spending a surprising amount of money each month on non-essentials, like that morning coffee, and realize where expenses can be trimmed or even eliminated.  For instance,...

Read Marc's complete article in the Puget Sound Business Journal.


If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of CWM's financial advisors please contact us here

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