Election year brings such passion out of people because of the potential financial impact, but I try to put on a brave face and keep my pocket book on track regardless of who is elected. That does not mean I don't care, or think that the election won't affect me, but it means that I don't suffer as much financially and emotionally. The key to financial freedom during election years is being prepared.
Here are 5 things I do now to lessen the effect of the presidential elections:
No credit cards
This one is tough, I know, but I don't want to get myself into a situation where I'm working to pay off interest. For credit's sake it's nice to have one around, but for me, I keep a no credit card policy to keep from getting behind and facing unstable interest rates.
Be creative with employment
This was really tough for me when I was without a job, but I try my hardest to use all of my skills to make money. There is so much focus on which presidential candidate will create the most jobs, and while that is very important, I think taking matters into my own hands is equally as important. I made a list of my passions and skills, and creatively found ways to make money from them. I spend any free time working, but it pays. If you have an idea, put it to work. Even if it's just a few bucks writing, babysitting, or mowing a lawn, it is money that can pay bills in uncertain times.
Eliminate the idea of extra money
Making and saving money can be a difficult chore, but necessary during election times. There is too much unknown to spend money carelessly. Instead of eyeing a new purse or bigger house, I work extra to put into savings. I don't always succeed in saving, but the months where I can even squeeze a dollar in adds up overtime, and helps me hedge against any economic turmoil. I don't stop working, or work less after my bills are paid; I work harder to get ahead at all times. And any "extra" money is not an allowance for shopping, but for saving.
I understand that economic policies make it difficult for small businesses, but planning ahead is the lifesaver. Since I am partly self-employed, I have to make sure I am pulling out enough taxes. At the end of the day, I'm not walking with the amount I would like to be. I am always hearing about businesses that are in trouble, but the top executives are usually making a pretty penny. To avoid financial burdens in business, I live within my means at home, and I keep my own salary in check with my taxes and expenses. And always take out extra for taxes. If I end up getting a return, I keep a rolling tax fund for the next year.
Hedge against spikes in gas prices
Election year always brings about great uncertainty at the pump, and this year is no exception. With that in mind, I do everything possible throughout the year to hedge against the spikes. This means no unnecessary trips throughout the year, a Costco membership, and reward cards. Some companies link grocery shopping to pump purchases so you can get a discount that way. Another trick is to keep a separate monthly fund for gas. I save the money from the months I don't use as much, and keep track of my gas purchases weekly to keep it in control.
- Politics & Government