Disclosure:This is a sponsored guest post by First Command.
COVID-19 has impacted our lives drastically in 2020. Understandably, many of us have felt the impact monetarily and emotionally. With extended school and office closings, life as we knew it is still far from normal. We look forward to the better days ahead. Despite – or maybe because of – the widespread hardship, many families have reprioritized what is truly important. At First Command, we believe this is an excellent time to focus on getting your finances in order.
Sheltering at home has taught many of us that it’s possible to spend less and save more. If you’re spending less money on restaurants, entertainment or gas for your car, consider allocating some of that newly discovered disposable income to your financial future.
Building a financial plan takes time and commitment, which is why many people never get around to doing it. But while the world has temporarily slowed down, you may have more time to do the things you couldn’t get around to before now. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
- Update your budget. This could be as simple as sitting down with family members to evaluate household income and expenses. If you have been eating out less, for example, you may decide that luxury was a “nice to have” that you can do without in the long run. Maybe you have also saved significantly with a decrease in transportation, entertainment and vacation expenses this year. Decide how much you can afford to allocate to short-term and long-term goals.
- Get financial documents organized. Make sure you and your spouse know where important documents are, including your will, life insurance policies and investment statements, along with passwords to these accounts. Make a book or create a digital folder in which to safely and securely store this information. In case of an emergency, you will want it to be readily accessible. Then, set an appointment on your calendar to update the information every six months.
- Teach your children about saving. Talk to them about setting aside a portion of the money they earn from jobs or even birthday gifts. Consider opening an individual savings account for them. Encourage them to set goals to cultivate good money habits.
President/CEO Mark Steffe offers financial tips for military families in this video:
We all need something to look forward to these days. The last few months have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. One way to overcome the fear and anxiety we’ve all been dealing with is to begin focusing now on the better times we hope are ahead. And that’s what a financial plan is all about.
Ready to get your financial life squared away and begin planning for a brighter financial future? We’re ready to help. First Command waives all financial planning fees for active duty military and their families, and there is no minimum net worth required to work with us.
I encourage you to visit firstcommand.com to learn more about our long history of helping military families pursue financial security. Schedule a complimentary consultation with your local First Command Financial Advisor, who is well-equipped to provide personal financial coaching through secure video conferencing, on the phone or in person.
Mark Steffe is the President/CEO of First Command. Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, graduating with high honors. He holds series 7, 8, 23, 63 and 65 securities registrations, plus life and health insurance licenses.
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