Money is at the top of Americans minds with gas prices rising, an ever-evolving pandemic, and 64 percent of people living paycheck to paycheck. Figuring out what to do with your finances can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Personal finance expert Michelle Singletary has made it her business to know the expenses you should prioritize, how to set yourself up for retirement and beyond, and what to do when crisis hits. She’s used the knowledge gained from a quarter-century writing, “The Color of Money” — a nationally syndicated column by The Washington Post, to write an emergency field guide to help you navigate during times of crisis like the ongoing pandemic, What To Do With Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide.
Singletary has carved out her own lane with her finance column, books, and television appearances and in 2021 she won the most prestigious honor in business journalism, a The Gerald Loeb Award for commentary. In her book, she pushes back against the doom and gloom of financial insecurity by helping readers prepare for the worst while being optimistic for the future. Singletary writes that her approach to money management is having a mindset that she’s in a perpetual recession, “It’s not about being fearful. I’m planning for what I now know is inevitable.”
Reading her book has opened my eyes to plausibility of financial freedom amidst uncertainty. Check out some of the hot topics we’re going to explore with excerpts from her book.
“The way I look at it, budgeting is like using a GPS app. You can be following a map closely and still take a wrong turn. When this happens you don’t just pull the car over and park and throw up your hands in defeat, right? The app directs you, and you take the alternative route. Or you make a simple U-turn. A budget can become your financial GPS.”
“The less debt you have the longer you can survive in an economic downturn. Investment returns are not guaranteed and can be very volatile. By paying off your debt early, you reduce what you pay in interest, and that should immediately turn into money in the bank or a retirement account. (Or it should. Once you are out of debt, invest your savings carefully.)
Schemes and Scams
“I understand that you're worried about paying your bills. But you must approach any work-at-home business opportunity with a great deal of suspicion. Assume it's a scam and then work from there.”
Here are a few questions you’ll see answered during our Facebook live Q&A with her on April 13th:
How do you recession-proof your credit report?
How might mental illness or cognitive challenges impact savings, debt, and investment?
What tax deductions or breaks are left for the average person?
She’ll be giving us the inside scoop on how to change our mindset around money and saving while preparing ourselves for whatever comes down the road. Watch the Facebook Live conversation here!
April 8, 2022