Even though St. Patrick’s Day is behind us – don’t rely on the luck of the Irish when it comes to creating your own financial good fortune.

Q: What does luck have to do with our finances?
We all know someone who blames bad luck for their poor financial situation. Whether you have the luck of the Irish or not, being prepared for life’s “bad luck” moments can have a big impact on your overall financial fortune.

Q: How do we prepare for those “bad luck” moments?
I have 5 tips I recommend to my clients to minimize the impact of bad luck:

1. Prepare for the worst:
This is perhaps the most obvious, still many of us are not getting the message. One in four Americans has NO emergency fund (27% according to a Bankrate.com study.) Whether we believe we are lucky or not, unexpected things will pop up. A car repair, busted furnace or broken arm can spell disaster without an emergency fund. I recommend you set up a small transfer each week or paycheck and build up at minimum 3 months of living expenses.

2. Be on time:
Be on time with your payments and bills. One day late can mean a fee. It can also impact your credit score which means higher interest rates and a tougher time getting loans down the road. For many people, setting up automatic payments or bill pay keeps them on schedule.

3. Pay it off:
If you can avoid it, don’t carry high balances on your credit cards. Interest charges can be overwhelming and make it extremely difficult to get your debts paid off. If you are carrying credit card debt, make a plan now to get it paid off. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][I have a great debt worksheet on my website at dursocapital.com to get you started. You want to record your debts, due dates, balance and minimum payments. I recommend you start with your lowest balance, making higher payments on that card and minimum payments on all the rest. Once you get that one paid off, move on to the next.

4. Spread it out:
This is a common mistake- putting all of your money in the same investment or the same type of investment can make you vulnerable. Ideally, your money is in investments that don’t have significant overlap. I recommend you sit down with a trusted financial advisor to go over where your money is and how to help meet your long-term financial goals.

5. Protect yourself:
I am talking about insurance. Whether you rent or own your home, you should have insurance to protect yourself in case of a fire, flood or natural disaster. If you own a car, you need car insurance. And if you have a family, you may want to consider life insurance so your loved ones are protected in case something happens to you. I also discuss long-term care insurance with many of my clients.

Q: Is there anything we can do to improve our luck?
Science says there is! It starts with believing that good things are going to happen to you (according to a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.) Expecting something, as opposed to wanting it, makes us more inclined to act on that expectation. Another characteristic of lucky people- being open to new or unexpected opportunities. In other words, take some time to stop and smell the roses.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]