It is terrible out there. There is so much to keep up with, between what happened with the Macs (Fannie and Freddie), then Lehman, then Merrill, then AIG, and then the Bailout, and now another Bailout, and all the while the market is seriously tanking. It is so overwhelming to figure out how all this affects YOU and WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. But, not to worry Queercents readers, that’s why we’re here. My three quick tips for what to do in this economic crisis are below. And in the comments, other Queercents writers weigh in with their best ideas.
1. If you’re about to retire, you should probably hold off for a bit and keep working. Continue to contribute to your retirement accounts. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a nice sugar daddy/momma to help you out. And I hear those are in short supply now too…!
2. If you have the majority of your short-term savings in the stock market, reassess your timelines. Can your short-term savings goal wait until the market rebounds? If not, see someone much more qualified than blogs like Queercents to help you extract yourself in the least damaging way. Perhaps a Certified Financial Planner?
3. If you’re still not tracking your expenses and have no clue what is going on with your money, START! If this is you, then here is a super easy expense tracking worksheet and a handy set of instructions to boot! This is a really good time to revise our spending habits, and attempt, maybe for the first time in our lives, that age-old wisdom of our grandparents, to live within our means. Heck, we might as well go all out and try and live *below* our means. You never know how bad it’s going to get! Kidding- but only just!
I have one more, but it’s much easier to follow, and it is for everyone.
4. Please forward this post widely! One of the ironies of dispensing financial advice is that the people who are interested in reading it are usually already on the right track (or at least know they are not). It is those people who are totally uninterested in money that actually need this information the most, and are the most unlikely to seek it out. So give an early holiday gift and send this post along to them. Their future bank account balance will thank you!
One more short note: I stand by my initial assessment of this disaster, which is to say that had we provided more comprehensive financial education (and I don’t mean fancy degrees, i mean basic, “common-sense” type education) to all parties involved, none of this would have happened. We wouldn’t be spending more than we earn, and we would still extol the virtues of frugality, and fiscal responsibility. So let’s try to get back on that bandwagon, and make being good with your money “cool” again.
Photo credit: stock.xchng.