By Jewelle Saunders
Following our Global Money Week Facebook chat on money management, budgeting, and financial planning in March 2020, we noticed an influx of questions about how to best manage your money and project growth during uncertain times.
Here is advice from our experts, Desde Cero Finanzas‘ Julio César Pineda, and North Central College‘s Dr. Ryan Decker, along with some additional resources, to help you focus on money management when you are not sure what is coming next.
Stay up to date with reliable information
During a time of income uncertainty, getting up-to-date information can ease your stress and your worries. When there is a new wave of information coming at you every day, making sure you avoid misinformation is important. Your sources of ever-changing information need to be reliable and accurate, so you should always make sure to stop, reflect and verify. This also protects your business’s reputation.
Adjust your spending habits
Ensure you have an adequate emergency fund, and make sure to focus on your savings. Now can be a good time to make sure you are adhering to your budget, focusing on reducing your expenses, reassessing your subscriptions and entertainment expenses, and learning to make your money go farther, advises Dr. Decker.
Julio suggests that as a habit, “you must save first before any other expenditure.” Remember it is not important the amount, it is important that you start doing so consistently. He advises that you must have your priorities clear in a budget so you can accomplish your goals and know how much money you should be saving.
Adapt your business plan
Julio advises that now is a necessary time to adapt your business plan. Ensuring a cash flow is the first step, as this will let you know what your income will look like in the coming months. Then you have to know all the payments the business has, and whether you can create a schedule, reduce or postpone, if necessary. Making and utilizing an emergency fund while adapting your business to a new situation is also essential, as this is a savings for the months where you won’t sell enough, and from there you can then make a better projection of your sales.
“It will depend on the business, but what I think is important, under uncertain circumstances, [is] to adapt businesses to new conditions,” says Julio. “People are going to buy and engage, but in a different way, so your business needs to be there to continue generating money.” This may look like adjusting to online sales or a digital platform or exploring delivery options but will require you to get creative to see how best to reach your audience in new ways.
Managing your money during a period of uncertainty can seem like a daunting task. But trust that you can navigate through this time and come out stronger. Here are some additional resources to help you strengthen your business and your personal finances.
- Crowdfunding: The power of people
- Top 4 budgeting methods to try
- 5 ways to sell your business on social media
- YLAI Network Entrepreneurship Toolkit / (en español)
This article is available in Spanish.