Concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic surpass the health-related impacts that the pandemic might have on the population. Attention is also brought to the economic consequences that the virus has already caused and is expected to cause if it lasts longer than anticipated. Numerous people are currently facing financial difficulties as a result of job losses or reduced hours, while also trying to overcome the pandemic.
During these challenging times, protecting your health is of utmost importance. Always make sure you are following the safety precautions and practising social distancing rules. Your mental health, as well as physical health, also impacts your financial health. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused market downturns and closure of many businesses, there is always something you can do to get through the situation if you’re facing financial difficulties.
Below you will find a few steps which you might find useful to manage your finances during the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Prioritize Your Needs and Revise Spending Habits
Spending a majority (not to stay all) of your time at home can tempt you to order food every night, do online shopping, or find ways to redecorate your house. All these can lead to spending money excessively, something which can be avoided and should be avoided during challenging times like this. Especially if you think you might be having financial difficulties if the coronavirus situation lasts longer than expected.
You might also consider deferring your private student loan repayment, for the time being, cancelling memberships or bus passes which you won’t be using regularly, and start cooking at home. Maybe these things individually might not seem like big expenses, but they can be noticeable when combined.
2. Build an Emergency Budget If You Do Not Have One
If the current crisis has found you without an emergency fund, it is not too late to create an emergency budget from the money you save while not being out. For example, currently, you do not need to pay for daycare, eating out, parking, fuel, transport passes, or other personal expenses. The money you would otherwise spend on these things could go into your emergency budget, and you can use them whenever you are facing difficulties.
3. Switch Household Suppliers
There are a few sensible steps you can take to ensure you have some extra money in your pocket. Switching utility and broadband suppliers to others offering better offers would not be a bad idea. Especially now that you have more time in your hands to actually deal with everything yourself. Since we cannot, yet, see the end of the pandemic, its economic impacts cannot be estimated with certainty, so taking the necessary steps right now would be beneficial in the long run.
Getting your household finances in order means looking deeper into your spending habits, your cellphone bill, or your internet and streaming costs. There are many providers offering better offers right now as a result of the pandemic. You might even find streaming subscriptions being offered for free during these challenging times. Get looking!
4. Reach out to Your Creditors
Among other things, having debts to pay during the pandemic can really impact your finances. Consider contacting your creditors before you get behind on payments. Some options your creditors can take into consideration are loan extensions, mortgage deferred payments, skipping a payment, or reduced interest rates, it all depends on your circumstances. Give contacting them a try, it might be worth it.
5. Ask for Financial Help
If you are eligible for the financial help offered by the federal government, make sure you reach out for it. In addition, to survive a crisis like this, reach out to those you trust, maybe they can help you overcome any financial difficulties you might have. We are all in this together and understand one another and the difficulties each of us might be having. So, there is no shame in asking for help, especially during this time.
6. Make Extra Income With Online Opportunities
An extra income would surely be helpful, wouldn’t it? Well, there are things you could try now that you have more free time. Starting an online business or doing online jobs outside of your regular schedule could work. You can make use of the many websites, like Upwork or Fiverr, where you can engage in online work, depending on your interests. There are also many online teaching projects you could find useful, all you have to do is recognize your area of expertise and make use of it.
7. Be Careful With Your Information Intake
Make sure you stay informed during the pandemic, however also make sure you are not constantly overwhelming yourself with information about coronavirus only. Spend some of your time doing things that are relaxing for you and things that make you feel better. Try to avoid social media time after time and only read reliable information. Balance your information intake, read about good things happening around the world. Focus on the things you can control rather than those you cannot control. Your mental health during this time can also play a role in your financial wellbeing.