Our routines and our 401(k) plans have collectively experienced the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world. While it has shared similarities as other past pandemics, this one might as well be considered the most socially shocking. Financially, we can absolutely recover as we have done many times in the past. Taking this pandemic day by day opens up the discussion of our futures. Are we as prepared as we believe ourselves to be?
Rainy day funds and 401(k) retirement plans should not be far from our minds. Especially in light of our current circumstances. We have experienced this in the past, we are experiencing it right now, and we will experience it again. These times are questionable, and it’s surfacing a realization that if we don’t rely on our own financial health, similar to how we rely on our physical health, it could lead to greater consequences.
Think About the “Health” of Your Bank Account
We take our bodies to the doctor for yearly checkups, why don’t we do the same for our bank accounts? The fact is, many people are living paycheck to paycheck, whether they have a wonderful salary or not. The amount of money a millennial can spend online shopping is about as impressive as it is frightening. We have let this become a normalcy. Consumerism is the main structure of our economy, but it has somehow created a barcode for happiness and fulfillment. The simple luxury of “add to cart” is replacing rationality, thus impacting the health of our finances and our futures. Striving for healthier bank accounts should be paramount, yet few of us are treating it as such.
What Do Well Fed Finances Look Like?
As science has it, a balanced diet means the right mixture of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and lean proteins. When we feed ourselves responsibility, our bodies stay alert and strong. The same goes for your earning and spending preferences. Right now many are under the impression the more money they earn, the more money they have to spend. Instead, it should appear as more earning means more savings. Oftentimes, spending is more convenient than saving, much like going to a drive-thru is much easier than cooking. Albeit, all it takes is extra effort to make the healthier choice. It is also being taken into account that there are circumstances in which spending is imperative, such as rent, bills, and necessities. When we break down our spending habits and our eating habits, we see that some choices are under the guise as a necessity. Ultimately, it could be removed from your lifestyle all together. Starting small and removing an expense, and replacing it with a frugal option, the health of the bank account will begin to improve.
Exercise Your 401(k) Plan
Planning for retirement is a lifelong endeavor. Plans need consulting, attention, and sometimes adjustments depending on the market. The lifestyle of your finances is a reflection of your choices. These efforts and financial preparation are tantamount to your bank account having a strong immune system. Results can’t happen overnight, but small changes can. Gaining power over your finances and your 401(k) plan greatly improves the balance of your self and your future. You should prefer to feed your retirement plan the right way, just like you would your body. Make sure to stay active and aware, but don’t forget, bank accounts need rest too, just like the human body. So put down the credit card and pick up the phone to consult your financial advisor. As Howard Capital Management states, “plan today for a better tomorrow.”