I spoke with Jim Goldman, a Certified Financial Planner, who also volunteers with Jewish Family Services for 13 years as their Money Coach. Jim advises unemployed people in JFS’ JETS Schmoozers Job Networking Club how to manage their money, how to spend and save wisely, and how to achieve financial wellness—being able to do what you want when you want to. Here’s a bit of financial commonsense in a world that often doesn’t have time to explain it to you.
The “Until” Moment
Jim was concerned that most people he counsels wait until its too late. Some big life event happens like a kid in college or your refrigerator breaks and then wonder what to do. Ultimately, all his clients come to him saying “Everything was fine until….”
Steps to take to rid yourself of financial mistakes
- Consider paying cash for things you buy. But buy a big purchase like an appliance with a credit card. Only use credit cards if you are the type of person who pays off the balance each month. It becomes a toxic problem when someone carries a balance from month to month, which accrues debt.
- While unemployed, find a small job you can do to pay some of the bills, while you look for work in your specialty.
- Don’t touch your 401K. Let it work for your future self by not withdrawing early.
- Have an emergency savings account for the unexpected.
- On Debt. Goldman’s favorite strategy is to pay the smallest balance first. Then, pay the next smallest one. Do this until you see the end.
- The only insurance you really need are homeowners/renters, auto, and health. If you have dependents who need your income, you may want to invest in term life insurance.
- If you want to become financially literate, start small. Google your questions and follow the search.
To reach Jim for financial questions and to schedule an appointment with him, call JFS at (860)236-1927.