With today being Saint Patrick’s Day, it seems there’s a lot of talk about luck. The luck of the Irish, lucky four leaf clover, and (of course) Lucky Charms all seem to be popular topics on this, March 17th. Unfortunately coming across luck in the real world is about as difficult as finding one of those quad-pointed blooms. However, when it comes to personal finance, there are a few ways you can make your own luck.
You’ve surely heard the famous Seneca quote that says, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Similarly financial luck can kick in when preparation meets disaster. Here are a few ways to create you own financial luck… or at least stave off the bad luck:
Have an emergency fund
As they say, “expect the unexpected.” Sometimes life can throw you some major financial blows, ranging from illness to loss of employment. That’s why it’s shocking to know that 57% of Americans say they couldn’t cover an unexpected $500 expense if they had to. This is where having an emergency fund comes in.
Depending on your situation, experts suggest you have enough in your emergency fund to cover between three to six months of essential bills and other financial needs. Of course you could always save more, but be beware that your money could be put to better use elsewhere. You may also want to consider having a separate “rainy day fund” for smaller unforeseen expenses that may not warrant “emergency” status.
Get renters insurance
Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes — all of these and more can do incredible damage to your home and your possessions. Even if you don’t live in areas where mother nature typically wreaks havoc, the threat of fires should always be considered as well. While most home buyers likely have homeowners insurance to cover such events, those who rent may not feel as inclined to protect themselves. In fact only about one-third of renters say they have a renters insurance policy.
Not only is renters insurance typically more affordable than you might assume but it also does a lot more than you may realize. For example a number of policies will cover your possessions regardless of where they were when they were damaged or stolen. For that reason and many others, if you rent, it’s definitely worth looking into getting a renters insurance policy.
Save for retirement
When it’s time to retire, will you be enjoying a life of travel and leisure or working part time to stay afloat? If you want to truly enjoy your retirement, you’ll need to start saving for it as soon as possible.
One important part of making your own luck when it comes to retirement savings to consider how aggressive or conservative your investments are. While younger workers may be able to take more risks with their money, those nearing retirement should look into safer options. Additionally target date funds can help make this process easy by automatically adjusting your investments over time.
In the financial world, you can’t rely on luck to get you by. That said you can create a bit of your own luck by being prepared for whatever life throws at you and your money. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!