So Now What? ~ Personal Finance Blog

So yeah, you may have heard....we've got ourselves a new President. 

Yup. 

Can't say I'm exactly THRILLED about the nation's pick. But, this is a personal finance blog so I'm gonna stay on task and we are gonna talk about how a new Administration should affect your approach to your personal finance journey.

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR PRIVILEGES ARE NOT THE SAME AS OTHERS
This is a really important step 1 and one that has, admittedly, been difficult for me in the past. We are not all the same. We are not all on equal footing financially. We do not all start equally. We do not all have the same privileges afforded to us.

Keep in mind, this in no way discounts any hard work, sweat, tears, and agony you may have put towards scratching and clawing your way to your current station in life. This is the part I had to learn....and learn I did over the past year. 

I wanted to believe that if I could do it....anyone could. And I still believe that in many, many, MANY cases this is true. I worked multiple jobs. I put myself through school. I started a business. I've worked when I was sick. I've missed time with my kids. There's been sacrifice. There's been HARD work. I have never skipped an opportunity to WORK for what I want. 

HOWEVER, I have also had some privileges that have helped me on my way and it's very important that I take that into consideration when evaluating my finances. 

For one, I was born to a 2 parent household and I never wanted for anything growing up. We always had housing, food, clothing, and educational opportunities. This was a springboard. A big one.

Since being married, I have always had very good, affordable insurance. I'm very fortunate that my husband works for the state and our insurance is great. I never have to worry, right now, about that situation. I have friends who pay thousands a month for their healthcare and it's insanity. We have to fight for THEM.....because healthcare in this country is a hot mess. 

Sit down and make a POSITIVE leaning list of everything that you have going for you. This will help you recognize what you have to leverage on your way to financial fitness. GET REAL with yourself. You don't have to be ASHAMED of your privilege....but you do have to acknowledge it if you intend on seeing your financial future prosper. 

2. DON'T BOW TO FEAR MONGERING

There's gonna be a LOT of that going around. Fake news sources spouting hate-filled rhetoric.....people telling you that mortgage rates are going to sky-rocket or the middle-class taxes are going to balloon. 

It's a lot easier to seek out CREDIBLE news sources (they are out there, I swear!) and educate yourself on exactly what a Trump Presidency means for our country's economic future. 

Then, apply that knowledge to protecting your family financially. That means focusing on eliminating debt that cuts into your biggest wealth-building asset: your income.

Here's the biggest take-away I hope I can impress on folks: Don't make financial decisions based on fear.  Because you'll make hasty decisions. Stay the course, continue to budget and to embrace frugality. It's the best way to protect yourself REGARDLESS of who is president. 

3. DON'T DESPAIR

Seriously, my husband and I talked briefly about it this morning as we prepare to move our family to a new city and start a new life.  We wondered if rising mortgage interest rates were going to affect us so much that it would put a wrench in our plans. We worried what else was coming down the pipe that was going to affect me as a self-employed person or affect him as a state employee. 

You can BE worried....you can BE upset. You can even act on your anger (as thousands of marchers and protesters have illustrated today). But don't despair. Don't GIVE UP.....don't let fear freeze you to the point where you believe a debt-freedom plan is pointless. 

It's not. 

4. KEEP GOING

Here's the thing....our new President has been endowed with some great power. Power to really screw things up for people, financially and otherwise, if he's not careful. 

For example, if he repeals the ACA without a replacement.....that could mean thousands in budget-devastating medical bills for people who cannot afford healthcare or who have pre-existing conditions and cannot get coverage. 

As responsible citizens and FINANCIALLY responsible people (as we all are, right?)....it's our duty to be aware of this and hold his feet to the fire...demanding he work for us, not the other way around.

But, the sun goes on rising and setting....and as I said above....it's so important for your family and your legacy that you stay the course....keep investing, keep saving, keep paying off debt, keep looking for ways to earn extra income. No matter what he does, he can't slow down a nation of people willing to go to WORK. 

*****

I know a lot of us are scared. We don't know what to expect and we don't have high hopes. It's not all sunshine and roses on the financial front, and I know that. I am holding on to hope that we can still kill it with debt payoff this year and get to where we want to be financially and physically. 

But, trust me, it brings a lot of calm to your whole world if you know your personal finances are well-in-hand and organized. 

Take care of each other....and chin up!