Financial Lessons We Can Learn From 2020
By: Stacey Nickens
To say that 2020 was a tumultuous year could be an understatement. Between the pandemic and a presidential election, many of us experienced plenty of uncertainty and stress. For some of us, we lost loved ones or became ill ourselves. However, challenging times always teach us important lessons. We can grow through what we go through by heeding those lessons. Thus, as you begin to set financial resolutions for yourself in 2021, consider some important wisdom we can gather from last year’s challenges.
Regularly reevaluate your insurance coverage
Many of us drove our cars less often in 2020. Driving less means you likely added less to your odometer reading and experienced fewer, if any, automobile problems or accidents. With that in mind, you may be able to qualify for better car insurance premiums if you shop around. You could also save money by seeing if your insurer offers a safe driver discount. With our cars spending more time in the garage, these discounts could be even easier to access.
2020 also showed us how fragile life can be. While this is a scary lesson to learn, heeding this lesson may prompt you to evaluate your life insurance coverage. People often underestimate their life insurance coverage needs. However, in reality, I have found that when a breadwinner in a family passes away, the surviving family members have greater financial needs than they originally predicted. To ensure your family is covered in the event of your passing, I encourage you to reach out. We can evaluate your financial situation to determine how much coverage your family would likely need.
Review your online security
Fraudsters are especially active during uncertain times. People are impersonating the IRS and developing cyber scams around stimulus payments. These fraudsters are taking advantage of people’s lack of familiarity with new federal and state assistance programs.
Knowing this, be wary of unsolicited messages from the IRS or other tax authorities. Be careful about clicking attachments in emails or about accepting offers from unfamiliar companies. You can also protect yourself by deepening your knowledge of new programs, such as the stimulus programs. You will be less likely to fall victim to fraudulent information if you know what is actually the truth.
Finally, get into the habit of changing your password regularly. Try to avoid using simple passwords. Instead opt for longer passwords that include letters, numbers, and other characters.
Invest in yourself
Getting a job in today’s labor market is especially difficult, and with so many people unemployed or stuck at home, more people have extra time on their hands. You could use this extra time by learning new skills and increasing your earning potential. Perhaps you improve your computer literacy or invest in a continuing education course specific to your field. Whatever you choose, I encourage you to use 2021 to become a more capable person. Not only will this may make you a more competitive job candidate, you may also develop new interests and hobbies.