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As the world opens and people reemerge into normalcy, the urge to buy strangers drinks in the clubhouse might overtake you- they probably could use one. The golf industry appeared as one of the winners of the pandemic. The nature of the game- outside, without physical contact, and the ability to naturally social distance created an ideal oasis for those trapped at home. Twenty-seven million more rounds of golf were played in June, July, and August of 2020 than in the same period in 2019.[1]

As the pandemic fades, the financial impact for many might not be as bright. Unemployment rates are 6.1% as of April 2021, which is still about twice as high than pre-pandemic rates.[2]  The juggling of remote work and at-home school shifted 64% of Americans spending, causing people to spend more on subscriptions, home office supplies, gym equipment, takeout, and even pet care as more people became pet owners in 2020.[3]

As you return to your normal, you might feel like you took some missteps with your finances. You might need to reevaluate your financial strategy if you did not play through the rough as well as you should have. Or you might need to shift your fiscal focus as your life shifts to a more open world. Here are ways to improve your financial confidence in a post-pandemic world:

  • Create or revisit your budget. If there are shifts in your lifestyle, have you updated your budget? Budgets are the mirror of what’s important to you. Creating a budget that serves you and your goals is essential.
  • Spend time with your financial goals. Again, do your budget and spending align with your goals? Do your goals need to be modified or your behavior to accomplish what is important to you? Realistic financial goals coupled with actionable steps create financial stability.
  • Automate your savings. Always pay yourself first. Your savings is a safety net for emergencies and self-reliance into your retirement. Savings is also the best way to avoid debt accumulation.
  • Manage your credit score. Your credit score impacts your financial life more than you know, from interest rates to employment background checks. Checking it regularly and addressing issues as they come up is vital to your financial health.
  • Address any debt issues. If you didn’t have the savings safety net you should have- now is the time to take stock of your debts and assets and develop a payoff plan.
  • Review your interest rates for home and car. With historically low-interest rates, they will not last forever. Are your loans in line with the current rates? If not, it is time to investigate refinancing options.
  • Make sure your financial paperwork is organized and up to date. Is your will current? Have you done a beneficiary check-up on all retirement accounts, investment accounts, and insurance policies? Do your loved ones know how to access your accounts and where all your important documents are kept?

Remember, personal finances are as everchanging as the rest of life. They need to be reviewed and revisited as things shift into a pandemic-free world. If you would like a more one-on-one look into your finances, please contact me at 800-871-1219 or email fsykes@scarletoakfs.com.

[1] https://golf.com/travel/golf-rounds-played-increase-2020-coronavirus/

[2] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/americans-have-changed-their-spending-habits-during-the-pandemic-heres-how.html

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This article originally appears in Golf Central Magazine : Volume 22, Issue 2, page 42 on 06/29/21. Golf Central Magazine is The Southeast’s Turf, Travel, Philanthropy, and Lifestyle Magazine. Check out their websiteFacebook, and Twitter.  Golf Central Can be contacted  at (321) 765-7550 or info@golfcentralmag.com.

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