These cash hacks might help rebuild your funds even throughout a pandemic
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Turbulent times can improve financial best practices like saving and budgeting.
They are also an opportunity to reconsider your goals and set them back for the future.
Tiffany Aliche, founder of personal finance blog The Budgetnista, was in dire straits during the Great Recession. She lost her job teaching a nonprofit school and had to move back in with her parents at the age of 30, she told CNBC's Sharon Epperson during the CNBC Path Forward: Your Money Summit Tuesday.
A decade later, she's in a completely different place – her credit score is over 800 and she's her own boss. Here are some hacks Aliche and Winnie Sun, co-founders and directors of Sun Group Wealth Partners, based in Irvine, California, recommend to help you weather a financial emergency.
1. If necessary, switch to a "Health and Safety Budget"
One thing Aliche wishes it had acted differently during the last recession is permission to hit a health and safety budget. When you look at your expenses and ask if there is a bill to pay for your health and safety, she said.
"If not, it has to wait," she said, adding that you should also contact your lenders to let them know of your situation and if you are unable to make payment.
"I was desperately trying to keep up instead of keeping up with myself," she said, adding that it didn't help – she was still losing everything and her credit was hit badly.
"I wish I hadn't put myself in this situation," she said. "I am more important than my debts."
2. Ask experts for help
Even if you find yourself in tough times, according to Sun, a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council, you don't have to experience them alone.
Finding a money buddy – someone to talk to about financial issues or concerns – can help, she said. Sun suggests finding a financial professional or certified financial planner who has been in the business for more than a decade, as it means they managed money during the recent downturn.
She also said to take it one day at a time and remind herself that things are getting better. "You won't be here forever because you're already thinking of a way out," she said.
3. Find creative ways to make money
While it may be difficult to find traditional jobs right now due to the pandemic, according to Aliche and Sun, that doesn't mean it's impossible to find ways to make money.
"In times like these, more entrepreneurs are being made than ever before," said Aliche. She recommends joining entrepreneurial groups on platforms like Facebook and using your existing skills to make money. Someone might need administrative help or design work that you can do.
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Sun recommends keeping up with social media even if you are unemployed. This includes improving your LinkedIn profile and actively engaging with your network several times a day. She also says not to overlook sites like Craigslist or Facebook job ads.
"Don't forget it doesn't have to be the perfect job," said Sun. "It just has to be something that you feel good about and that can make you money."
4. Imagine the desired future for actionable steps
When looking at your current situation and trying to plan, the best thing to do is to take the time to think about the future you want – and then work backwards, according to Aliche and Sun.
"Then you can have a clear list of goals and tasks in which you can tick things off," said Aliche.
Once you have a set goal, Sun says you should also make it as easy as possible to get there.
"Name your accounts with the names of your goals, then set up automated savings so your goals get funded every time you get paid or have income," she said. "Make it so that you are not the goalkeeper for your financial success."
You won't be here forever because you are already thinking of a way out.
Co-founder and CEO of Sun Group Wealth Partners