If you had told me at the beginning of 2020 that I would be ready to settle down just a year later, I would not have believed you. I was living the life of a digital nomad, traveling through Southeast Asia with my sights set on Europe next. It wasn’t just a matter of opportunity either – this was the lifestyle I had always dreamed of.
But we have all learned how quickly things can change. When the pandemic began, I wanted it to end as soon as possible so I could go back to a life of never knowing what comes next. At this point, all I want is some stability.
The reality is that, in a normal world, you can have stability even as you live a life that is unpredictable. As long as you take certain steps to ensure your future is more secure, you can let go of some of the uncertainty that is hounding all of us.
These are 5 actionable steps to make your future more secure.
1. Open a savings account right now
I have always been of the opinion that money is there to be spent. There is no point hoarding every cent while putting off the life you really want for the future. However, this can be done while saving money for crisis or retirement.
If you don’t have a savings account, open one right now. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have much to deposit just yet. Start with the minimum, and commit to adding just a little bit each month. This can be an amount small enough that you don’t really notice its absence.
Simply having some money in a savings account will make you feel more secure even if you like to take life day by day. You will soon realize that certain purchases don’t make a quantifiable impact on how you feel, while having something put away for a rainy day does.
2. Pay off debt
Paying off debt is perhaps more important than saving money, although you should work on doing both. The interest you pay on your debt is probably significantly more than what you’ll earn on your savings. Try to pay more than the minimum each month so as to reduce it day by day.
Debt is a huge source of uncertainty for hundreds of millions of people around the world. It can seem overwhelming, which is why many of us choose not to think about it. But, if you know that you are doing what you can to reduce it, it will feel far more manageable.
3. Write a will
The pandemic has had a lot of people confronting the specter of death sooner than they expected. Tragically, many people have died without being able to leave their affairs in order for their loved ones. They have had to say goodbye without knowing if their loved ones would manage to deal with the impact of their deaths.
Writing a last will and testament should be no big deal. It should be something everyone has done. However, because we don’t like to think too much about our deaths, we put it off.
Writing a will doesn’t need to take much time or money. There are online will makers that do all the work for you. Some are even free. You don’t need to talk to a lawyer, as a will template is fairly standard. There are certain online services which do have lawyers to go through your will to ensure you have covered everything.
Find the service best rated for online wills and get it done as soon as possible. It is far better to do it before you’re in a time of crisis, so that you can focus on what matters.
4. Get life insurance
In a similar vein, if you don’t have life insurance, get it now. You may be young and well off. Maybe your loved ones have enough money or good enough jobs to see to all their needs. However, life insurance is worth it because of the uncertainty that ensues after a person’s death.
Life insurance is inexpensive and easy to arrange. You can use it as a guarantee that your loved ones will be taken care of. At the very least, it will provide them with some breathing room so that they get the chance to take time off and grieve. It will also help you feel more at peace with what you are leaving behind.
5. Go to your doctor for a check-up
Money may be the commodity we are most concerned about on a conscious level. But everyone is worried about their own health to some degree, no matter what they tell you. As you start to get older, it is crucial that you go to your doctor for an annual check-up, even if you feel fine.
This ensures that you catch any potential illnesses early, and are able to adjust your lifestyle to correct any imbalances. You will feel more at ease and stable in life if you know that your health is in order. And if there is something wrong, you will have the chance to do what is necessary sooner rather than later.
A stable life is not necessarily exciting, but it is the least we can ask for in times like these. Take the above actionable steps so that you are prepared for every eventuality.