Where To Find Help Looking At Personal Finances Online
Around the world, people are facing tough financial decisions. With millions of people out of work or looking ahead to make some significant changes, people are taking hard looks at their personal finances to decide what to do next. We took a look at some interactive tools that are free to use and help calculate just what you need to do to meet your financial goals.
Parents, we also discovered some helpful calculators to teach your kids about budgets and saving for the future!
Why Looking at Personal Finances During a Pandemic is Important.
Many people are suddenly finding themselves facing uncertain financial times. A staggering 51.3 million Americans have filed for Unemployment Insurance according to USA Today as of July 16, 2020. There is no end in sight to the historic pandemic. Businesses are being forced to file for bankruptcy or even close down permanently.
Why is it important to keep a close watch on personal finances? Because tracking your spending, expenses, and savings helps you to be prepared for unexpected changes to your income.
Tracking your personal expenses helps you to identify what expenses are “Important” and which ones you can cut out when you need to reduce expenditures.
For me, tracking my expenses helped me see that my Starbucks spending could get a little crazy during the winter months. Watching the trend helped me to see that perhaps purchasing an espresso machine would help me to save money in the long run. However, it didn't solve the problem that I was actually looking for a little inspiration and human interaction. So I was able to adjust some of my other expenditures to pad in my budget a weekly (not daily) stop into Starbucks for “Mental Health” breaks.
Looking at your personal expenses before there is a problem helps you to give yourself a reasonable budget that fits your modified income.
Teaching Kids To Save Now For Emergencies Like Layoffs and Pandemics
As a parent, one of the most important jobs we have is to teach our children about how to budget, figure out how to plan for the future, and to understand where their money is going. So when our children began to get their first jobs, we helped them to write out their budgets and savings plans. Our rule for all earnings was that they needed to put 50% of their money into a long term savings account that they would be able to access in the future and overseen by us.
Each of our kids needed to work out their Personal Budget. We like the calculator available on Pigly for its simple design and helpful tips.
To be honest, when our kids were young and learning this, I believed that girlfriends and cars would be the biggest threats to our children’s bank accounts. Back then, I didn’t think about pandemics causing a worldwide economic crisis being the reason my children would need to dip into their savings.
One of the ways we talked to our kids about money was to ask them if they wanted to be millionaires. And of course, each of them excitedly said they did. So we opened up a savings calculator to show them how they could invest just a little bit of their money each month to earn a million dollars. Then we broke it down to weekly deposits and showed them how much faster that goal could become a reality.
My children are all grown now with bills of their own. And I am so thankful when I talk to them on the phone and hear them saying that they haven't had to touch their savings yet, even though a couple of them have been laid off due to the pandemic.
I know that they each have dipped in from time to time for “emergencies” that came up. But they have talked about being thankful that we taught them early how important it is to save for times like this.
Just because people are being laid off doesn't mean the credit card companies care.
Credit cards can really hurt you when you are faced with challenging times. When I was younger, I got sucked into the credit card swamp, and it was awful!
Credit card companies promise you perks that seem great, but the truth is that those perks are there to lure you into giving them a LOT of money. Nothing comes for free.
So when you are looking at which credit card offer to take, take a look at this free online tool that helps you look at the long-term cost of credit cards, annual fees, introductory rates, and how long it will take to pay them off.
We know that many of your are looking to find solutions to the mounting bills that the pandemic is causing. You aren't alone. Over 40% of households have said they would have trouble paying for a $400 unexpected expense. However credit cards come with challenging risks that you need to take into account. If you can't pay $400 now, how will you pay back $400 with 15-20% interest?
According to the New York Federal Reserve, at the close of Q3 of 2019, credit card debt in the United States totaled to $1.08 trillion, surpassing the record high of July 2008's $1.028 trillion. In effect, the average American household then owes $8,398 on their credit cards.
Taking control of your personal finances doesn’t have to be complicated. I spent time exploring the new free online tool, Pigly.com before suggesting it for you. I was very impressed with the many different types of calculators they offer. They have the basic Paycheck estimator type, and interesting comparison calculators like how much you can save bringing your own lunch!
With so many parents now in charge of homeschooling their children, I really think this is an excellent time to help kids of all ages to understand how to make a budget and the value of savings.
Nerd Mamas like myself, love free online tools that don’t ask for any personal information. This site can easily help to teach children about economics and responsibility.
And I learned a few things myself about financial planning and personal finance! We are never too old to learn more.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and as always, we would love it if you could leave us a comment and let us know what you would like to see us do a review on next!
~ Nerd Mama