America has elected Donald Trump as its next president. But what does a Trump presidency mean for your wallet?
Trump’s campaign rhetoric has many experts fearing rough economic times ahead. Trump has, for instance, supported getting tough on trade. But some fear a Trump-inspired trade war could plunge the world into another recession.
The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what to expect in a Trump economy. We could be in for smooth sailing or turbulent storms of unrivaled magnitude. In the age of Trump, it’s best to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Stay focused on what you can control.
Here’s ow to batten down the hatches and get your financial ship in order today, just in case dark thunder clouds await us in the future.
Create an emergency fund
Millions of Americans were caught blindsided by the financial crisis of 2008 with limited financial reserves to see them through the end off the economic quagmire.
Don’t make the same mistake. Become the squirrel that furiously scrambles to collect nuts in preparation for a potential financial winter.
With uncertain economic times ahead, creating an emergency fund should be your No. 1 financial goal. Most experts suggest you save enough money to be able to cover three to six months of living expenses.
Work on building your emergency fund as if your life depended on it. Eliminate all the small luxuries in your life until you’ve set aside enough money for your emergency fund. Don’t even consider going to movies, eating out with friends or engaging in “retail therapy” until this goal is achieved.
Also remember one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. With the aid of Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon and consignment shops, you can quickly turn your junk into emergency fund cash. Cut back on Christmas gift giving and put the extra cash in your fund. Additionally, consider using cash windfalls such as your year-end bonus or income tax refund to build your emergency fund.
Whatever you have to do to build your emergency stash, do it. Your emergency fund just might be the lifejacket your family needs to survive any upcoming economic upheaval.
Get rid of the dead weight
We all have those expenses that little by little bleed us dry. While these expenses may be tolerable during good economic times, they can quickly sink you in turbulent times.
Take the time now to scrutinize every single expense to identify areas where you can aggressively trim the financial fat.
When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? A NerdWallet survey found that Americans overpay on average $368 per year on car insurance. Many families have saved hundreds by switching to a cellphone family plan. Have you ever considered canceling gym memberships or subscriptions to magazines you never use? Perhaps now is the time to cancel or renegotiate your cable TV plan.
By trimming your financial fat now, you’ll become a lean green financial machine when times turn turbulent.
Make yourself indispensable
During economic turmoil, job layoffs are inevitable. Too many people found this out during the 2008 recession. Protect yourself by working to become indispensable on your job. Become the person your company could ill afford to lose.
At the same time, ask yourself this question: If you had to find a new job, what would your new employer be looking for? Work to develop these attributes now. You could, for instance, obtain the latest certifications, developed a valuable skill or learn a new programming language. Don’t forget to network and build the connections today that might help you find a job if you need it in the future.
We cannot predict what a Trump economy will bring, but we can prepare now for financial turmoil that may await. Creating an emergency fund, trimming your financial fat and making yourself indispensable at work will help you weather any potential economic storm on the horizon.
BMWK, do you think a Trump presidency will affect your financial future? In what other ways are you preparing?