While there's no doubt the heads on Capitol Hill are spinning with what's been happening in our economy, it's not exactly a picnic for those of us feeling like we have a million and one unanswered questions. Watching big banks collapse and listening to what the news tells us was a horrendous day for the market, followed by the worst day ever, doesn't do much for the people anxiously sitting on the sidelines. Here are three things you can do right now to get a grip on your finances.
- Spend wisely and save as much as you can: Sometimes, it's easier to turn a blind eye on the things that make us anxious instead of dealing with them. Now is not one of those times. Buckle down on your budget and figure out how you can save more.
- Pay off debt: The economy has already lost 605,000 jobs this year and that number is likely to continue growing. You need to get aggressive with your debt (especially the high interest kind) in case you find yourself jobless — you'll need your savings for everyday expenses instead of debt repayment costs.
See two more ways to get a grip on your finances right now when you read more.
- Make sure your bank is still the right one for you. The banking industry is moving toward consolidation, as we've see in recent weeks with JP Morgan Chase's purchase of Washington Mutual and Citibank's purchase of Wachovia. We could be seeing more of this movement in the months to come, so keep an eye out for any changes in fee policies that might not be favorable to you.
- Review your investments: See that your asset allocation is appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon. If your portfolio's risk makes you anxious, it could be a sign that it's time to reevaluate your investments.