There is still no end in sight for what is about to become the longest government shutdown in US history. The impact is growing heavier on the wallets of millions of Americans, but Oklahoma City investment advisor Brad Bertrand shares some ways you can start to save.
On Friday, 800,000 federal workers missed their first paycheck, and if you have not planned ahead you may find yourself among those scraping together pennies just to get by.
For those depending on government assistance and government pay, the clock is ticking towards an impact on basic survival. Bertrand points out, though, that the countdown is longer for some than others.
He says, “Our clients are in a position where, because of the emergency fund of six months or more that they maintain, they’re not in a position where they’re concerned at all.”
Bertrand's business Retirement Solutions serves a number of local federal employees who are now grateful for that safety net. He advises everyone else to start saving now if you have not already.
“We always have the choice to live below our means,” Bertrand says, “so that’s the first step to accumulating a savings that can be beneficial in an emergency situation like this.”
The key is to separate essential costs like bills, groceries and medicine from non-essential costs like eating out, entertainment and vices like alcohol and cigarettes. Try to cut where you can, especially if you are currently living paycheck to paycheck.
“Adding all those up, you want to be in a position where you have a buffer that is a surplus that you can put into savings,” says Bertrand.
you are struggling, Bertrand encourages you to ask for support from your friends and community, and try to stick to your budget the best you can.
He says, “Make sure that you go back and check on it, update it and continue to use that as a tool to provide for you and your family so that in these hard times, they’re not hard times.”
To connect to free resources that can help you get a budget started, head to the Retirement Solutions website and click “Discover Your Risk Score Today”.