The year is (finally) coming to a close. Almost. I mean, who can believe it’s already November? But instead of wishing the last weeks of this crazy, unprecedented, abnormal, unpredictable, [insert 500 more adjectives here] year away, I am reflecting on the trials and tribulations we’ve all had to face — personally, medically, financially, emotionally, and otherwise — and trying to get something out of 2020. It’s a whole year, it shouldn’t go to waste. Right?
Which is why I headed to my favorite place on the internet, the HerMoney Private Facebook Group, of course, to see what these ladies are taking away from 2020. Specifically, what this year taught them about finances. We can all stand to learn something, especially from strong women whom we trust.
And I was pleased with the answers. Some of them I wholeheartedly agreed with, and others got me thinking about new financial techniques, ones that I am thankful to have under my belt now.
Whitney A. says she is “grateful to have established an emergency fund” and that she spent a lot of the pandemic “building [her] savings even more by not going out as much.” She is also renting out rooms in her home which provides a steady income to supplement her salary. Overall, she has learned that even though she loves being a social butterfly, she can do that without breaking the bank.
Kimberly G. has had a year of transition. She’s finishing up a home makeover and paid for it by saving on activities she hasn’t been doing. She got a cash-out refi because of record low rates. She doesn’t have a car payment for the first time in over a decade so she is saving a ton. And she was able to land a part time job in February so she’s bringing more in.
Nancy A. saw 2020 as a test for all of the financial plans and goals she had put in place for years. She had an emergency fund, she didn’t have debt, and she continued to invest even as the market was tanking. Go Nancy!
Fern WG. learned that she’s in it for the long term. Yes, she was spooked by the market volatility, but talking to a financial advisor helped calm her nerves. Whatever works, Fern.
Rose M. has been a saving machine. She stopped shopping for anything she didn’t need and donated when she could.
Rosemary W. says she probably retired on the worst day possible. Yes, that day was March 13, 2020. Luckily, she had a funded emergency savings and cash on hand. She had worked out a budget pre-retirement so she knew what she required month to month and converted some money to an annuity which helps her cover those costs. She studied up before making the career jump which is why she was able to weather the storm.
Raquel S. learned that, yes, she can live below her means, and Jenny A. stopped spending on those extra things in life, like manicures and massages.
Overall, what do I want you to take away from this? That an emergency savings are everything. Like many of these ladies, I learned that life can be pulled out from under you, but you’ll still have bills to pay. We all need to have some cash on hand to get us through the tough times. Although it may not be fun to sock away now, future you will thank you again, and again, and again.
MORE ON HERMONEY:
- Compare Savings Accounts
- Are High-Yield Savings Accounts Even Worth It These Days?
- Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Funds But Were Afraid to Ask
- I Have No Retirement Savings. Now What?
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