In a year that has thrown a pandemic, natural disasters and economic calamity at us while we lurch closer to a presidential election, stability can feel elusive. No matter how well-laid your plans, some new crisis might be lurking around the corner, waiting to upend your life.
While it’s never been more clear how much is out of our control, you can still take steps to improve your financial stability. And it’s not just about cash flow.
Find your idea of stability
Financial stability is both a state of money and a state of mind, says Ed Coambs, a certified financial planner and certified financial therapist near Charlotte, North Carolina.
On the money side, stability is straightforward. “You have a budget, you know where your money is going, and you know how much you should be saving to meet your bigger goals,” Coambs says.
“What’s a little harder is more the state of mind,” Coambs says. This financial peace of mind is subjective and looks different from one person to the next.
Do some self-reflection to pin down what stability means for you. Maybe you don’t want to feel anxious when you check your bank balance, or you hope to save enough for retirement so you won’t have to worry about the future. Whatever your focus, feeling stable means you won’t have to constantly worry about money.
If you find yourself overwhelmed because the pandemic has destabilized your finances, follow the advice of Tara Tussing Unverzagt, a Torrance, California, certified financial planner and financial therapist. She advises people to think through the worst that could happen rather than avoiding the topic out of fear.
“This often helps people open up a way to reframe the situation from, ‘There’s no way out of this,’ to ‘I have some choices — this