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The Ukraine conflict has a lot of people rattled -- not just from a humanitarian perspective, but also a financial one. In a recent MassMutual survey, 73% of Americans said they are worried that tensions overseas will hurt the U.S. economy. And 46% said they are looking to save more cash in light of the crisis.
If your savings could use some work, then it's a good idea to work on boosting your cash reserves. If the situation overseas ends up having a negative effect on the U.S. economy, it could lead to job loss -- and that's something a more robust savings account can help you get through.
Of course, boosting your savings is easier said than done at a time when living costs are soaring due to inflation. But here are a few steps you can take to eke out some extra cash.
1. Bank your refund
Many Americans are just getting around to filing their taxes. If you have a refund coming your way, you should strongly consider putting that money directly into your savings, especially if you don't have enough money in the bank to cover a minimum of three months of living expenses.
2. Rethink your budget
It's natural to spend some money on leisure activities and purchases, whether it's outings with friends or restaurant meals. But if you're serious about boosting your savings, you may need to cut back in those areas until you've managed to pad your bank account.
In fact, it's a good idea to comb through your budget and identify spending categories you can cut back in. That could mean canceling services you're willing to do without, or even taking more drastic steps to free up cash, such as getting a roommate. Minimizing your spending isn't just a smart move in light of overseas tensions -- it's a savvy thing to do at a time when inflation is rampant and doesn't seem to be slowing down.
3. Get a second job
When you work full time, it can be hard to imagine putting in any more hours on the job -- even a second job you do at your own pace. But if you're serious about boosting your savings, and you can only cut back so much on living costs, then you may need to strongly consider getting a side hustle.
The good news, though, is that there are many side gigs you can truly do when it's convenient for you. If you're willing to babysit for extra cash, for example, you could limit yourself to only one night a week if that's all the time you're able or willing to give up.
It's hard to know exactly how much of an effect the conflict in Ukraine will have on the U.S. economy. But one thing's for sure -- if you're worried your personal finances will take a hit, then it pays to shore up your savings while you can. Doing so won't necessarily be easy, but the peace of mind you get in return will make those sacrifices worth it.
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