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Tips for Building Up Your Savings and Emergency Funds

Finance

Money is still the one thing which makes the world go round, and we all need it to survive. While focusing on earning enough to cover your day to day bills is essential, you should also pay attention to building up your savings and emergency funds. There are different ways you could go about this, including putting aside any winnings made from playing at PA online casino sites, but the key thing to understand is why you should do this.

The simple facts are that life is unpredictable and has a habit of throwing nasty surprises your way – often when you least expect it or could do without it. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a classic case in point and has been a real problem for many financially, whose regular work has been affected. By saving money and building an emergency fund over the years, you not only have money to get you through tricky times but also money to enjoy your life with or to use when you retire.

But what are the best tips for building up your savings and emergency funds?

Set up a direct debit into them each month

The biggest problem that most of us have with saving or building up an emergency fund is that we don't do it regularly. You may mean to do this every month, but it often just does not happen. When you rely on manually moving money from your checking account into savings accounts, many people never get around to it. As a result, you do not save as much as you could or have as much as you might need for emergencies. The best idea is to set up automatic payments from your checking account into your savings and emergency fund account each month. After that is done, it will simply roll along every month and take away the hassle of remembering to make the transfer.

Invest a proportion of your spare cash wisely

While you do want to risk investing all of your spare money, it is wise to look at putting some of it work for you. The return you will get on a decent investment is going to be better than the interest rate you get on a savings account. So a great tip for building up your savings and having more money for emergencies is to invest a little of any spare cash you have. Over time, you will accumulate more wealth and have money for emergencies, retirement, or could simply treat yourself. Investing in stocks and shares is still very popular while trading Forex and cryptocurrency is massive now. Be warned, though – you must know what you are doing if you will be handling the investment yourself. If not, it is best to find a reputable investment brokerage to help.

Make a budget and stick to it

The only way you will build up your savings and the money you have for bad times is to put more cash in these accounts. Many people struggle here as they often do not have any spare money left each month to do so. While it might seem like all your cash is tied up, poor budgeting can often be the real cause. So many people waste money on excessive grocery bills, takeaways, clothes shopping, and going out every month. While no-one is suggesting you live a miserable or monastic lifestyle, you should look at what you spend and cut back where you can. Write out this new budget and stick to it. By preparing a budget, you will find you have the spare cash you need to save.

Put aside any bonuses or extras

It is human nature to get free money and then want to blow it all on luxuries or treats. Getting an unexpected tax refund or work bonus can see you heading straight to the mall or your favorite restaurant for a meal. While it is nice to use some of the extra cash to have fun, try to save at least half if you can. Putting some of any extras that you receive aside for emergencies or later life will help the amount you have to grow.

Building wealth is the goal

For a lot of people, it seems very boring to talk about savings and planning for the future. If you struggle with this, why not switch it up and think about building wealth instead? Having the money you need to protect your family in emergencies, to enjoy treats, or to have a great retirement is essential. If you need a few great tips on how to go about it, the above should help.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.