What to Do When Life Calls an Audible
Are you a football fan? If so, you understand the significance of an audible call at the line of scrimmage and how sometimes you are also forced to call an audible in life. Modern football has evolved since the late 19th century when Walter Camp at Yale University first pushed the idea of a quarterback receiving the ball from someone at the line of scrimmage. Over the years, players and referees have had to adapt to changes in the rules and new technologies. Flexibility and being able to adapt quickly are crucial skills that can help you navigate many aspects of your life, including financially. When it comes to emergency preparedness and planning, we often think about small steps taken over a long period of time. For example:
- Creating a budget and reviewing it regularly – It not only helps you prepare for unexpected market fluctuations and changes to your life that impact you financially, but also, doing so can provide you with an idea of how much money you can comfortably put aside for emergencies. Football coaches have backup plays and players to use when their initial plans are challenged. Things inevitably happen in our lives, forcing us to call a financial audible. Being prepared can help to mitigate financial stress.
- Saving $10 – $20 a week in a separate emergency account – Many people feel they are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to save anything. Putting $10 or $20 in an account now and then might not seem like much, but money accumulates over time. Sit down and review your spending. You might be surprised at how much money you spend on non-necessities. Consider making sacrifices, like eating out less, and put that money toward an emergency fund. An emergency fund can allow you to call a life audible should you face unseen challenges. Football teams don’t have just one play; they have a playbook and many plays they can use should the first or second not be feasible. The playbook in football is the emergency account they can dip into if needed. Having a little nest egg is also helpful should you find yourself short on money when it comes time to pay your debt minimums.
- Focusing on reducing your debt – One of the biggest financial stressors we have in life is debt. Paying debt is important because if you stop paying your debts, you could lose your car or home, or damage your credit. It would help if you also considered the late charges and accruing interest when it comes to paying debt. Significant debt can seem nearly impossible to get out of. However, you can work to put those debts behind you with a manageable strategy, steady payments, and discipline. A financial professional can help you with various techniques, including debt snowball or avalanche methods, so you can try to get on top of loans, especially those with high interest. They can also provide guidance on dealing with student loan repayment and the variety of ways you can pay those back.
- Reviewing your credit and ensuring nothing is lowering it – Having and maintaining good credit is crucial to living a financially confident and independent life. Keeping your credit where it should be requires paying your bills and debts on time, living within your means, and reviewing your credit report periodically to ensure nothing on it is driving the score down. Solid credit also helps when you are forced to call a life audible. People with good credit can get lower-interest loans, credit cards, and mortgages while managing their financial objectives.
- Consult a financial professional – Being willing to change with the times and understanding when to make critical decisions can benefit you, both in football and life, especially during a volatile market or game. When dealing with your finances, seeking the guidance of a financial professional can help you create strategies, design payment schedules, learn the most efficient budgeting method for your lifestyle, and keep you prepared should you wake up tomorrow and have to call an audible.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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