Barton Goldsmith column: Money and your emotional well-being
Money can be a triggering topic for many of us. These days, it’s hard to escape the impact of supply chain issues, inflation and talk of recession. It is hard to make sense of it all, but you can take some practical steps to save or make a little extra money, which will help you stay emotionally balanced. Here are some ideas.
1. Take on a second job or start a small business. Making a little extra money these days just makes sense given the rising cost of living. There are still a lot of jobs out there and a demand for people willing to take on a side hustle. Increasing your income by just 10% will help you keep pace with inflation.
2. Buy the new Series I US savings bond. It’s tied to the rate of inflation and is now paying about 9%, so it will help you balance out the extra you are having to spend. The purchase limit is $10K, but it is a hedge against inflation if you have money just sitting in the bank or under your mattress.
3. Certificates of deposit are making a comeback, with a 3% return on your investment. This is another place you can save, and the growth will help you feel a little safer. If you still have a good mortgage, this can actually help pay for it.
4. If you don’t have money to put in the bank and you are worried about paying next month’s rent, most cities have rental assistance programs. Many of the programs started out as COVID-19 relief programs, and some are still offering help even if you don’t have a COVID-19-related issue. You have to apply for these assistance programs, and funds are limited, so get on it. Just Google “rental assistance programs in my city.”
5. Develop bargain consciousness. This means staying mindful about bargains and opportunities. If I can get a free set of guitar strings if I buy three sets, then I’m going for it. Likewise, if you have an extra freezer, you can stock up when your favorite foods go on sale. You get the idea.
6. I have always been a fan of coupon clipping. I did let it slide for a few years, but now it’s just smart to use those CVS 40% off coupons for my probiotics. You can also save at restaurants because two-for-one deals are coming back, which can make an evening out more affordable and therefore more enjoyable.
At times like these, every cent you save helps you maintain the lifestyle you want. Remember, even if the financial news is scary, you can take your own steps to feel more financially secure.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time." Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or email him at Barton@bartongoldsmith.com.
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