Do you find yourself feeling anxious, frustrated, fearful, or even hopeless about your finances during this COVID -19 pandemic? The truth is you are not alone. Millions of people from every part of the globe are worried about their finances and trying to cope in the best way they know.
Here, we explain how you can keep your finances in check or even thrive during this unprecedented time.
Track all your bills consistently
If you’re in a position where you can still afford to pay your bills, this is the time more than ever to stay on track. Not only will you keep your momentum going, but you will also protect yourself from getting into bad debt.
Something else to do during this COVID-19 crisis is to always be on the lookout for better deals on your utilities. Most companies are offering significantly discounted deals to customers due to reduced demand for nearly everything.
However, if you are unable to pay your bills, reach out to your providers as soon as possible and ask if they have a payment plan or whether they can pause your bills. This will give you some time to reorganize your finances. By all means, do not abandon paying for your bills as this will only affect your credit score post-COVID-19.
Manage your credit
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the federal government, banks, and credit unions have all reduced interest rates. Consequently, if you take a personal loan or a credit card during this time, you’re likely to pay very low-interest rates. Nonetheless, you must conduct due diligence before applying for any credit during this time.
If you must use credit facilities, a tool like Crediful will come in handy to help you compare the best loan deals in the market. Furthermore, if you’re already deep in debt, you can consult with them on how to get unstuck.
Create a new emergency budget
If you are like most people, chances are high that you’re operating on a significantly reduced income as caused by the effects of COVID-19. In this regard, you need to realign your budget with your new income levels. Put otherwise, this is the time to build a trimmed-down emergency budget.
To get started, we advise you to apply the 50/30/20 rule of budgeting. With this, 50 percent of your income goes to essentials, 30 percent to wants, and 20 percent to savings. The idea is to make a deliberate decision to be more practical and actionable in how you spend your money during this crisis.
Additionally, you can consider setting up an emergency fund now, if you didn’t have one pre-COVID-19. The reserve will go a long way to cushion you especially now that no one knows precisely when this pandemic is letting up.
Keep your money safe
At the start of this pandemic, many people rushed to sell off their stocks fearing that the market was crushing. More recently, rumors of a cash crunch have been rife and this again has resulted in people withdrawing their money from banks.
This type of hysteria is what you do not need with your finances at this time.
For starters, do not withdraw all your money from the bank. Far from the popular belief, your money is a lot safer with your bank or credit union account as compared to keeping it at home. What’s more, having your money at the bank means it is protected under federal law. In case of any eventuality, you will still have access to it, so no need to panic.
And lastly, professionals transporting money and restocking ATMs are essential services workers, meaning you have nothing to fear about running out of cash.
Consume reliable information
One thing we’ve all learned amidst this pandemic is that fake news spread like wildfire. There has been misinformation, misrepresentation, and exaggeration of information on nearly every aspect of this situation.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are being swayed into actions or inactions that are dangerous for their finances. In light of this, always try to find your information and news from reliable sources. This will help you to remain sober in your decision-making. Ultimately, you’ll be able to keep on top of your finances which is vital in surviving this awful situation.
COVID-19 has exposed how financially vulnerable most of us are. The last thing you want is to expose yourself more or lose your mind as a result of overwhelm. This is time to be proactive and to stay on top of your finances. Apply the five simple tips we’ve shared here to keep your finances in tip-top shape.