Emotions and finances: Tips for managing when times are tough
It’s OK. You may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, or worried about the future. It’s only natural considering the current pandemic and resulting financial crisis. It’s normal to feel scared and uncertain at a time like this.
For many of us, the angst we are feeling is about money. What if I lose my job? Do I have enough money to provide for my family? Will my business survive? Will I have to let employees go? Will I be able to retire? Can I afford to send my kids to college?
You are not alone in what you are feeling. The good news is there are strategies to help you cope with your emotions when it comes to finances.
Have a plan
Nothing provides peace of mind like having an up-to-date financial plan. Recent developments have caused many existing financial plans to now be outdated. Take the time to meet with your advisor and make any adjustments needed to set your financial plan back on track.
If you don’t have a financial plan, take heart that it’s never too late to develop one. Some of the greatest financial opportunities present themselves during a crisis. A thoughtful plan can help you capitalize on those opportunities. Just the process of developing a financial plan can bring a welcome sense of control and reassurance. Work with a financial advisor who understands your goals and can help you live your life on your terms.
Lean on experts
If you’re not sure where to start or how to update your financial plan, know there are people to help. Lean on your bankers, financial advisors, estate planners and other financial professionals. Their work and whole purpose is to help make sure you have a secure financial future. Ask for their help. Trust their guidance. Take solace in knowing they have your back.
See the light
As traumatic as the current situation can feel, remember that this crisis will pass. Take heart in knowing that and try to look optimistically to the future. If you have the funds, this could be an ideal time to put your money to work. Markets are down. Interest rates are near historic lows. Seek out new investment opportunities, refinance a home, purchase commercial real estate. Look for the silver lining in the current situation and embrace what can be by exploring your options with your advisor.
Most importantly, stay the course of your financial plan and keep a long-term perspective in mind.
Take a break
Finally, try not to obsess about your finances. Worrying for the sake of worrying does no good. With an updated financial plan in place, and a qualified team of financial professionals at your side, you can and should breathe easier. Give yourself permission to disengage. Read a book. Go for a long walk (with appropriate social distancing). Learn a new hobby. Make the most of this time and do those things you’ve always wanted to do more of.
Don’t deny your feelings when it comes to money. Instead, take comfort in knowing there are trusted financial professionals who can answer your questions and ease your fears. At Alerus, we are here for you.