If you’re struggling to keep your finances in order during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are definitely not alone!
Millions of Americans are either struggling or completely unemployed and doing their best to make ends meet.
Many are preparing to keep their finances straight in the short term, but this economic crisis may prove to last far longer than any of us anticipate.
Because of this, I want to provide a few tips to help you in the short term as well as help you outlast this crisis in the long term.
TAKE A LONG LOOK AT YOUR FINANCES
If you are struggling to make ends meet, it may be time to create a budget or reassess your current one.
Although going without some things such as take out, streaming services, and other monthly subscriptions may seem like you’re giving up some of the only things keeping you sane, a little give and take will save you money in the long run.
Consider opting for just one or two streaming services instead of several. Reduce take out to once a week or once every other week.
Subscription services such as Amazon are seeing longer shipping times whether you have their Prime membership or not. Consider cutting those costs.
Still paying for your gym membership? It is uncertain when nonessential businesses will reopen. Consider cancelling those memberships and seeking cheaper alternatives from home to get your workouts in.
CONTACT YOUR CREDITORS, LENDERS, MORTGAGE HOLDERS, ETC
The worst thing you can do, even if you’re really struggling, is avoid the people you owe money to. Chances are many companies are open to helping you out as best they can through this crisis.
Speak directly with your landlord if you’re having trouble making the rent. Speak with your creditor if your payment is going to be late or if you’re unable to make the payment.
Facing the issue head on will benefit you in the long run. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a government agency that has encouraged all lenders to work with their customers during this time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help where it’s needed.
DON’T PANIC PURCHASE
Many are seeing essentials fly off the shelves such as toilet paper, cleaning products, laundry detergent, etc.
Don’t be pulled into the craze!
When you make your trip, purchase what you need and take a look at what you already have. If you have plenty of pantry food to last until your next grocery store visit or delivery, don’t purchase in bulk just in case.
Save your money for more important possibilities such as a cut in your work hours or a medical emergency.
Putting your money into bulk buying may seem like forward thought but it would be better in the long run in the event more pertinent issues arise.
STICK WITH YOUR INVESTMENT PLANS
It may seem like a good idea to sell your stock investments right now, but the truth of the matter is you're likely to lose a significant amount by pulling out now.
It may cause a lot of stress watching the current stock market, but just be sure to evaluate your investment plan and hold on tight. The market is very likely to recover. It always has.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOW INTEREST RATES
If you’ve got good credit, you may consider taking advantage of the current low interest rates.
Have student loans? Consider refinancing them. Doing so could save you thousands in the future.
It may seem like a pain, but it can be a very smart move for your future!
DON’T LET THIS CRISIS BRING YOU DOWN!
There are options out there. If you’re struggling, there are many companies, organizations, and systems to help you through it!
The primary idea is to consider what you absolutely cannot go without and what you absolutely can go without.
For everything you can go without, add those funds to your savings! Have some back up for emergencies and be prepared in the event this crisis is around for the long haul.
Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation. Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for specific guidance.