The COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing, will no doubt have a profound impact on the world's economy for several months at minimum. Additionally, 2020 is an election year in the US, an event whose outcome could also have a powerful effect on a whole host of financial situations, like the unemployment rate, inflation, gross domestic growth, and more. How can you take all these factors into account to create a realistic, accurate personal budget? For starters, it makes sense to build as detailed a budget as possible, make saving a habit, file tax returns as soon as possible, and take defensive investment positions to protect against what will likely be a volatile year for the stock market. Here are four realistic ways to get your financial life in order before 2021 arrives.

Set a Savings Percentage, Not an Amount

Consider selecting a one-digit number as your regular savings percentage each payday. Too many people focus on amounts, which can be misleading and lock you into an outsize amount when your paycheck size varies. Instead, decide to put aside 5%, for example, out of each cheque you receive and you'll be better able to stick with the plan for the long run.

Get Your Budget in Order

Know what lies ahead, especially if you plan to make any changes to your monthly expenses like purchasing a home, renting an apartment, buying a car, or taking out a student loan. The point of budgeting is not always to minimise expenses; it's simply to identify where money comes from and where it goes. After doing that, and only after doing it, will you be able to manipulate various elements of the income and outflow.


Step one is to know what you have and what you spend each month. For example, an excellent way to plan for education borrowing is to use a student loan repayment calculator for estimating monthly payments. That way, there's no guesswork about what your obligation will be, and you'll be fully able to place the item student loan payment onto its proper line in the budget. Go through each of the ways you spend money and make sure there's an entry for each one. Many people fail at budgeting not because they spend too much but simply because they don't know how much they spend and lose track of their overall finances.

Get Your Tax Refund as Quickly as Possible

If you have money coming to you after you file your tax return, send the forms in via an e-file program as early as possible. That way, you could have the cash by February. If you plan to owe money to the government, wait until the official filing deadline, or a few days before, to file and pay.

Use Metals to Hedge for a Volatile Year

For numerous reasons, 2021 could be a roller-coaster year for the stock market. That's a good reason to purchase silver and gold as a hedge against market uncertainty and potential inflation. Be careful not to put your entire portfolio into metals, but only about 10%.