Blacks and Finance: Managing Your Money During a Health Crisis

You're never too young to get your finances in order.

A treatment plan to address an unfavorable health diagnosis will come with its own expenses, most likely, expenses that you did not plan to have.

Your household budget, however, is one area of your life that you can control when everything else seems to be out of your hands.

If you spring into action now, by curbing your miscellaneous spending and trimming the fat from your overall budget, ultimately you’ll have one less thing to be stressed out about, says financial adviser Bahiyah Shabazz of Shabazz Management Group, a financial improvement and personal development consulting firm.

“In the order of importance, once you find out your diagnosis, you need to get your life insurance in place as well as your estate planning. It’s so important; as women, we do not think about the day that’s going to come, the day of our demise,” Shabazz says. “We take for granted that we may never have a break of guardianship with our estate planning as well.”

Estate planning is not reserved for the wealthy, and you’re never too young to get your affairs in order.

According to the Women’s Financial Network, estate planning includes:

  • Documenting your wishes in a will
  • Determining a strategy to “gift” assets to family, charitable institutions, and other worthy organizations
  • Appointing an executor for your estate and a guardian for your children
  • Establishing trusts and selecting a trustee to oversee them
  • Protecting your assets from creditors

In addition to planning for the unforeseen, women must also stay on top of their daily expenses, Shabazz advises.
“When it comes to the day-to-day expenses, you really have to make sure that you keep track of every penny that you’re spending,” she tells rolling out. “It’s a possibility that you may not be able to work as much as you want, so you’re going to have to budget according to your household needs as opposed to your wants.”

As a side note, Shabazz urges women to not let high-end clothes and pricey accessories define who they really are.

“It’s all about self-awareness during this month. It’s about understanding who you are you are. The number one mistake women make is defining ourselves by material possessions. If your shoe collection is valued more than your financial portfolio and now you’re $100,000 in debt, we have a problem.”

Shabazz adds, “Once you get your finances under control, you must maintain it, and continue to have goals for yourself.”

 

Zondra Hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out



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