Don't Leave Things to Luck: 3 Ways to Secure Your Finances in 2023

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KEY POINTS

  • Many people's finances have taken a hit over the past year, and it's stressing them out big time.
  • You can get to a better place financially by boosting your cash reserves, following a budget, and becoming a more skilled employee.

These moves might really help improve your financial picture.

Rampant inflation has been with us for well over a year. And it's caused a lot of people's finances to take a turn for the worse.

A recent SecureSave survey found that for almost three in four Americans, financial stress is hurting their productivity at work. So if you're struggling financially and are worried about your prospects, you're not alone.

But if you want your financial circumstances to improve, you can't just cross your fingers and hope your luck will change. Rather, you have to make some positive changes happen. Here are a few steps you can take to better your financial picture in 2023.

1. Boost your emergency fund

The aforementioned survey found that a whopping 67% of Americans don't have enough money in savings to cover an unplanned $400 expense. If you're in a similar boat, it's imperative that you do what you can to boost your emergency savings. Having extra money in the bank could help you sleep better at night, whereas if you're low on cash reserves, you might worry about racking up scores of credit card debt the next time an unplanned bill comes your way.

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In fact, ideally, you should aim for a large enough emergency fund to cover a full three months of essential bills. That way, if the emergency you're faced with is the loss of your job, you'll have a means of covering your bills.

Now, if you're really low on savings right now, it's going to take a while to amass enough cash reserves to cover three months of bills. The key, however, is to do your best and add to your savings month after month, even if it's just small amounts at a time.

2. Get on a budget

Following a budget could help you get a better handle on your money. That might lead to more savings and less stress.

There are different ways you can go about budgeting, but you should know that it doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. You could simply open a spreadsheet or even bust out a piece of paper and write down your different expenses, along with their respective costs. Then you'd simply compare those expenses to your paycheck and make sure the numbers work. If you're spending all of your paycheck, or beyond, based on your bills, then you'll know it's time to make cuts.

3. Grow your job skills

Being great at what you do won't automatically prevent you from getting laid off if your employer is forced to make cuts. But you're less likely to wind up losing your job if you're an outstanding employee with skills your peers lack. So in the coming weeks and months, try your best to grow your job skills, whether by doing independent research when you're not on the clock or observing successful people around you.

Getting to a secure place financially isn't just a matter of luck. Often, it's a matter of hard work. But if you make the effort, you may find that come this time next year, you're a lot happier with your financial picture on a whole.

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