How Much Retirement Savings Should I Have

Life happens and crises occur. If we lived in a perfect world, wed all live on beautiful beaches and never have to work! But the reality is that life is messy and sometimes our expenses are greater than our income.

Here is how to deal with any negative financial situations when they arise.

The first course of action is preventative: You should create a budget and stick to it. A budget is simple to create. You simply list all of your average monthly expenses on one side of a paper and all of your average monthly income on the other side. Then, make sure that the total in the income side is greater. Be sure to include on the expenses side two line items: current enjoyment and future savings. Put at least 10% of your income away into the future savings line and also invest a little into your current enjoyment line. Its important to enjoy today and its important to have something for the future.

Having a budget will help to minimize disasters that may strike. But they may still strike! When disaster strikes, though, there are options which you can take these courses of action:

The first thing you should do is try to adjust your budget to pay for the problem. Perhaps you can increase your income or sacrifice a little from here or there to see that the problem is paid for. If thats the case, that should be your priority, since your payments will take care of the problem quickly. But there are alternatives if that fails.

Second, try to get a secured loan using assets you have, such as your home or other valuables. These assets will allow you to negotiate a lower interest rate and longer repayment period so that your expenses can come back in line again. For many people, a disaster means higher bills, so a secured loan is one of the best first steps to take to pay off your bills but still manage your payments over time.

A third option is to get an unsecured loan. These are not nearly as good as secured loans because they can come with a higher interest rate and shorter repayment periods because the risk to the lending institution is higher. But for some people, this is the best or only option. If its yours, take it because an unsecured loan may still be cheaper in the long run than expensive credit card interest rates or repossessed possessions.