5 Ways to Protect Your Finances No Matter Who’s President

protect your finances

While many Americans are speculating how a new president might influence national economic policies, the reality is that the president can only do so much to directly impact the U.S. economy or your personal finances.

Although market movers respond to uncertainty and many people make decisions based on what they think will happen as a result of a presidential election, many of the policies a president would like to implement can’t be put into place without action taken by Congress.

Your day-to-day finances are more likely to be influenced by local factors, such as your state’s minimum wage law or the sales tax your city or county levies.

You should also pay attention to the way Congress handles things like tax law and the effects the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have on the national economy.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to protect your finances no matter who’s in charge.

1. Reduce your debt

One of the best things you can do to protect your finances no matter what is to reduce the amount of money you owe to other people. When you have fewer financial obligations to others, you are far more likely to weather unexpected storms.

If Congress does enact presidential policies that impact your personal finances negatively, you have one less thing to worry about if you don’t have debt.

Remember that when you pay interest on debt, that’s money going into someone else’s pocket. So once you get rid of that debt, you can invest your money in assets that pay you interest, rather than the other way around.

Consider paying off high-interest credit card debt first and then work your way toward paying off other types of debt later.

2. Increase your savings

No matter how much you’re saving, it’s probably not enough. Think about increasing the amount you set aside so that you have something to fall back on no matter who wins the presidential election.

Build your emergency fund a bit at a time. Aim to save between six and nine months’ worth of living expenses. That way, you don’t have to turn to debt if some national economic policies result in a job loss, or if life throws you a curveball.

Don’t forget about saving for retirement as well. As your financial situation improves, make sure to increase the amount of money that goes toward your retirement account.

Costs of living are only going to get higher over time. So if you want a comfortable retirement in the future, you need to do what you can to invest in it today.

3. Manage your health

Taking care of your health is one of the best ways to protect your finances. That’s because healthcare has a huge impact on finances.

For instance, Fidelity recently released an analysis indicating that couples retiring in 2016 will need about $260,000 to cover their healthcare costs during retirement.

When you engage in unhealthy habits and develop health conditions like heart disease or Type II diabetes, you set yourself up for big costs down the road.

According to the CDC, the total of direct medical costs and indirect costs for people with diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 was approximately $245 billion.

Poor health choices can lead to missed work (and pay), as well as costs related to seeing health care providers and increased insurance costs.

Although there’s no way to completely protect yourself against injury or cancer, you can reduce the chances that medical costs will devastate your budget if you invest in your health today.

4. Build a support system

One of the best things you can do is invest in a support system willing to help you when times get tight.

I moved to Idaho after my divorce because I knew that my parents would be a good support system for my son and me. What’s more, I had a strong network of friends and business associates who offered to help with my move and throw more work or projects my way if needed.

Invest in the people you know. This investment can pay off if you lose your job and need an introduction elsewhere.

In a lot of cases, getting a job is more about who you know than anything else. You can get the inside track on who’s hiring, and what they are looking for if you have a good network.

Your support system can also help you with things like child care, provide temporary housing or personal loans when you’re in a tight spot.

When times get tough, the people you surround yourself with can be a great help. Build a support system, and you’ll have a place to turn if your personal finances are impacted by public policy.

5. Keep learning

An investment in yourself is one of the best ways to protect your finances no matter what happens. Keep learning new skills and invest in your education and your career.

You don’t necessarily need to get another degree. But, you should stay on top of current trends in your field and even be flexible enough to develop skills outside your field. You can even develop the knowledge and skills you need to start a side hustle or your own full-blown business.

Controlling your income and creating income diversity allows you the versatility you need to adapt to most situations and protect your finances, no matter who’s our next U.S. president.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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