by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
The conference I attended last week was a study in pessimism and negativity. I feel that right now, people are paying far too much attention to the negatives and far too little to the many wonderful aspects of the current financial situation. For inspiration, see below!
- We save more. For ages now, Americans have been living on plastic, spending far more than we earn, not giving tomorrow that much thought. When faced with fears of financial hardship, we start to set cash aside for emergencies – a first, staggering step toward a sounder financial future.
- We get ourselves out of debt. It may seem controversial: how are we supposed to pay down debt when we make less money? But statistics show that Americans are now shredding debt instead of adding to it – for the first time in ages.
- Investments become cheaper. Stocks, mutual funds invested in stocks, real estate – it seems these days, bargains are everywhere! True, many people have suffered immeasurable losses . . . but always remember that there are two sides to every trade. For every person selling a house at a loss, there’s another person buying it at a discount. If you have the money, this is a fabulous time to invest.
- We learn to prioritize. When money is easy come, easy go, we can have it all. When the supply is cut short, we are forced to set priorities and differentiate real needs from fluff. This will enable us to get more out of our money once we head for the next boom.
- We discover what really makes us happy. It is all so easy. We take a job we never really wanted because we need the money. We get a couple of promotions and raises, and adjust our lifestyles accordingly until we are completely dependent upon our income. Meanwhile, our dreams and passions slip further and further away. When we are thrust out of that security blanket and realize that we can survive on much less, we get another chance to give those dreams a go.