Now is time to bulk up savings
Financial house should be put in order as the economy rises
Texas’ economy is picking up, national unemployment is low and the financial markets are setting records. Now is the time to get your financial house in order.
Low energy prices have hurt Texas and Houston for two years, slowing employment growth and eliminating thousands of well-paying jobs. But oil prices are rising again, and Houston’s economic indicators are cautiously optimistic. The worst for the energy industry could be over. Use the upswing to get your finances straight, especially if you are one of the 6 in 10 Americans who don’t have the wherewithal to handle a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room visit, according to Bankrate.com.
“If you have a car, a house or apartment, a pet, or a kid — if you’re a member of the human race — something that costs money is bound to go wrong,” said Jill Cornfield, a Bankrate.com analyst.
Too many people think getting a new job, or a raise or simply avoiding disaster is a time to celebrate by opening their wallets. But no, that’s the time to pay off debts, create an emergnecy fund and maximize tax-free retirement savings.
If you work in a cyclical industry, such as oil and natural gas, this is especially true. Too many Texans, though, don’t get it, which is why we rank in the bottom 40 percent of states when it comes to being financially prepared, according to statistics gathered by Quicken, the financial software company.
There are generational differences, though.
Hand it to Millennials, who came of age during the Great Recession. They’ve got the old fashioned values of their great-grandparents, who grew up during the Great Depression. More than 45 percent say they are prepared to tap savings to cover the cost of an unexpected expense. They don’t like credit cards, or the debt that comes with them.
Every economy and every life is cyclical, with good times and bad times. Remember the good to get through the bad, and use the good to prepare for the inevitable.