Making the Most of Your Financial Situation Requires Adaptability

Caitlyn Knuth
November 30, 2022

When your finances are in a good place, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that things will always be this way. The same can be said for those times when the financial struggle is uncomfortably real.

While it’s important to remain hopeful in both scenarios, the reality is that wealth is typically cyclical. While we’re often led to believe otherwise, there are very few guarantees when it comes to finances.

Making the most of your financial situation inevitably means being willing to be adaptable to change at every turn. In many cases, this requires dedicated planning and savings while understanding it can all change at any moment. Learning to make sure you have what you need today, can plan for those expenses you want to invest in later, and have a backup when things inevitably change again is a vital skill.

The following are just a few ideas for making more of what you have in the bank, so you’re prepared for whatever lies ahead. Integrating just a few of these can lead to a more adaptable approach to finances overall.

Keep Track of Expenses, No Matter How Seemingly Trivial

A lucrative fiscal year can make it easy to overlook the importance of tracking seemingly trivial, daily expenses. However, it’s often a collection of smaller expenses over time that can lead to larger issues when the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Knowing exactly what you’re spending monthly, down to the gritty details, gives you a clear picture of your expenses overall. From here, reorganizing and saving when it’s needed most makes it that much easier!

Keeping track of expenses means including everything from coffee stops and nights dining out into your budget alongside expected monthly expenditures like groceries, mortgage, and energy bills. If you’re not someone who is likely to do this manually, integrating a digital spending tracker into your daily life will make the process much more inviting.

After all the expenses are recorded, you’ll have a single reference point to look back on when (or if) your financial situation changes. Knowing every detail in your budget today provides a route to cutting areas of spending with less stress when changes need to be made in the future.

Whether that means eliminating recurring charges and memberships or cutting down on nights out at restaurants for a while—you won’t have to spend time figuring it out. You’ll already know exactly where excess spending is happening and where you can adjust accordingly.  

Set Realistic Savings Goals

When you’re feeling comfortable with your financial situation, it can be tempting to set savings vs. spending goals that are aligned with higher income levels. However, problems can arise when income fluctuates unexpectedly, and those goals skew your overall budget.

Setting savings and spending goals that are slightly less than what you might feel comfortable with can be psychologically difficult, but definitely worth your while. Lowering your regular spending bar allows for a cushion in case of financial changes.

The same can be said for setting slightly less aside for large purchases. While money is still being retained for things you’re looking forward to, you’re providing yourself with grace and space to adjust in case of the unexpected. If you’re someone who isn’t particularly inclined to do this on your own, avoid the temptation to overspend or adjust savings altogether. Consider making all of your savings plans automatic instead.

Take Time to Appreciate Your Financial Progress and Stability

There’s a lot of motivation to be found in progress. This is especially true when you’ve put significant time, effort, and planning into balancing your spending and savings over time. Make sure to make some well-earned time each month to look over your accounts. This is a chance to allow yourself to be inspired by the progress you’ve made! It’s also a sure way to reignite that desire to remain adaptable to changes going forward. There’s a lot of financial and personal success that lies in the experience of financial reflection.

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