With all of life’s little surprises, sticking to your financial plan can sometimes seem like a dream. But you can stay on track if you are flexible and expect the unexpected. Here are a few tips to help you adjust when circumstances change:

Assess the impact

When you’re faced with an unplanned expense, calculate how much it will impact your budget. If you have to pay a major unexpected medical bill, for example, determine how long it will take you to pay off.

Cover the difference

If you have a financial deadline you can’t miss, such as paying property taxes or college tuition, there are a few ways you can make up the difference in the short term. One option is to cut back on your expenses. Limiting your expenses might be tough, but it can help you make up for a shortfall. An additional part-time or contract job can also help to boost your income, provided that it does not cause your primary job to suffer. If these options do not work for you, there may be other emergency options to consider.

Adjust your goal

While delaying your goal may not be ideal, it could be the most realistic solution. The key is to try to keep the setback to a minimum. Even if you can’t make up the entire amount, you should look for ways to increase the amount you save each month to reach your goal faster.

It can be frustrating when something outside your control impacts your ability to meet your financial goals. If you look for opportunities to increase your financial efficiencies in the short-term, you may help improve your position for the future.

Empower yourself with financial knowledge

We’re committed to helping with your financial success. Here you’ll find a wide range of helpful information, interactive tools, practical strategies, and more — all designed to help you increase your financial literacy and reach your financial goals.

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