June 15, 2021

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Tips to take control of your finances in this new year

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Puerto Rico – The events that the Island has gone through since September 2017 have totally impacted the work of Puerto Rican society, including its finances.

Both hurricanes Irma and María in 2017, the earthquakes in 2019 and the pandemic in 2020 (which is still having an impact) have affected everyone’s comprehensive and financial health, Viviana Carrasquillo, Coach in Personal Finance, assured La Perla del Sur.

“Regarding the financial situation, it may be difficult for us to share it with others and especially with our family. This is due to the discomfort generated by all this uncertainty and lack of economic control in many cases. However, it is vital to air it with people we trust and integrate the whole family in relation to this issue so that everyone cooperates ”, Carrasquillo advised.

To take control of finances this year -which is now in its fourth week- the Coach in Personal Finance makes a series of recommendations. By following each one of them, you will start this year in a resilient way and will have “great chances of achieving the prosperity we wish for ourselves at Christmas,” Carrasquillo said.

First, he noted that it is important to assess the current income in the household. “In some households the income may be fixed, which means that household members always receive the same compensation. In the case of variable income, because they work independently, they must calculate an average income so that -based on that amount- they can determine an estimated budget at home, “he indicated.

As explained, for example, if you estimate that you are going to receive only $ 2,000.00, you must count that you will be receiving $ 1,000.00, since it is never advisable to spend more than what is received and you must save for emergencies.

The second recommendation is make a budget. This is nothing else – he reported – than subtracting the expenses (fixed or variable) from the income that is received monthly.

“The main objective of it is to be able to quantify income and -based on it- identify expenses and savings to maintain a minimum, although optimal, level. It must detail the sources of income such as salary, social security and other economic income. On the other hand, point out fixed expenses such as: mortgage, cars, social media and the like. On the other hand, there are the so-called variable expenses such as: utilities (electricity or energy, drinking water), telephone rents and the like ”, he mentioned.

The third recommendation consists of monitor your expenses. After the budget is deciphered, it is important to carry out an analysis of expenditures (expenses). In this way, the expenses that can be eliminated or reduced are identified. For example, subscriptions, purchases, luxuries, recreational outings and expenses that are convenient but unnecessary at the moment, ”he explained.

At this point, Carrasquillo advises that “you can make better use of what you have, plan fun family activities, prepare more meals at home, not buy the latest technology models and make a list before visiting the supermarket. This exercise well carried out and completed should have a positive impact on the financial health of the family ”, he assured.

Fourth, Carrasquillo recommends the Saving. As he explained, “the savings is an amount that you must reserve for future situations. It is recommended that you save around 10% of your salary. This with the aim of creating, in the first place, an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months ”.

The fifth recommendation has to do with debts. They must be evaluated and, as far as possible, make higher payments and, if possible, pay them off. “However, if you understand that you cannot cover them, you should contact your creditors. This with the purpose that they can guide them in the alternatives they have so that they can cover their debts and protect their credit ”, advised the Coach in Personal Finance.

Sixth, recommends have an additional source of income. As he pointed out, it is possible that as a result of the Covid-19 situation you have seen your salary reduced or in the worst case, you have lost your job and possibly you are currently looking for a job or working on a project to undertake.

In this case, he indicated that “the following options are suggested: sell products made by you, provide a service or join a marketing network. This action will probably allow them to cover any current household expense that has made it difficult for them to achieve, increase their emergency fund faster or make a significant purchase necessary and essential for family survival, ”he mentioned.

The seventh recommendation consists of spend smart. By this he means that if you have to make a significant purchase such as: a house, car and household goods, it is essential that you evaluate whether you will have the ability to pay to cover this expense and if you will have the money to cover maintenance.

“We encourage you to learn to identify between a need and a desire according to your current reality when now adding another expense to the family account. Also, you must be aware of the use of your credit and try to keep it below 30% of use, ”Carrasquillo advised.

In eighth place, he pointed out that the credit. Creditors mostly report their accounts to the following credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. If you are interested in receiving your credit report or have any questions about the same Carrasquillo indicated that you can visit the following pages for more details: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action or https://www.usa.gov/espanol/credito

To conclude, the Personal Finance Coach stated that “it is possible that we feel that the world is falling if we currently have financial situations, but the important thing is to maintain a proactive attitude and commit to learning more about the subject; cultivate harmony, courage, organization, wisdom and receptivity to listen to those who handle the issue better ”.

He also invited you to start redesigning your financial habits, but to achieve them you must identify your desire, knowledge and your skills.

Viviana Carrasquillo. Photo: Supplied

If you want to know more advice on how to control and manage your personal finances, you can look for the Coach on these topics, Viviana Carrasquillo, on the Instagram social network as: successfulfinancesbyvivi or write to the email [email protected].

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