How to get your personal finances back on track for 2021

Posted at 4:32 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 16:32:20-05

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and are still looking for jobs.

“They’re definitely feeling the pressure of their cash flow being severely damaged or gone to nonexistent,” said Carlos Lowell, Senior Vice President at UBS Financial Wealth Management.

To help with the pressure, we spoke with financial advisor at UBS Wealth Management, Carlos Lowell, on how to get your personal finances back on track.

First tip, cut back on spending. Carlos recommends going through your expenses and seeing where your money goes. There are budget apps that can help with the process.

“Our COVID budgets are looking very different [compared to] before COVID. There are certain things that you may say ‘I can’t live without’ and other things that you might say ‘you know what I used to do this all the time and now I don’t really need it as much.’ You can realign that way,” said Carlos.

Second, if you’re in debt, make it a priority to pay it off. Develop a plan to pay down the debt every month.

“A lot of folks have eaten through these reserves that they had so they’ve had to take on debt. Whether that’s credit card or a loan of some sort. It’s important to think about 2021 of how you’re going to pay that back. What kind of debt servicing plan are you going to put in place so when things go back to normal you can start doing that. So that you can go back to savings and to put money away,” said Carlos.

For those who are in the workforce, try to save as much as you can. Depending on your situation, 15-20% of your income should go toward your retirement plan and emergency fund.

“Really think about how you’re going to protect yourself. In the past when you do financial planning, we recommend 3-6 months of expenses put away in a rainy-day fund and the reason we said 3-6 months was it depended on if your job isn’t available anymore, how long would it take you to find another job that you were trained for,” said Carlos.

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To reach Carlos, you can email him at