As the coronavirus outbreak continues to take a toll on the global economy, it is understandable to be worried about finances in the midst of such unprecedented uncertainty.
With bills, investments and mortgage payments to consider, as well as, looming fears over a recession, here are some money moves you can make to remain calm and protect yourself financially.
1. Scale Back
When you’re holed up at home, it can be tempting to hoard household supplies and splurge on takeout every night. However, it is crucial to scale back and not spend more than you need.
If you are currently working, set aside some income for a rainy day, which experts say should be around three to six months’ worth of expenses. If you do not have a comfortable emergency fund, now would be a good time to start.
Another idea to help save, is to make a list of all your expenses including recurring subscriptions and memberships. Rank them in order of importance, then slowly cut out the less important items over a few weeks or months.
You can also put away any money that you would otherwise spend on travelling, eating out, and attending other social events.
While times may be tough now, eventually this outbreak will pass and you will be in a better financial position if you scale back and stick to a budget.
2. Prioritize Important Expenses
Don’t let your most important bills fall through the cracks. Pay your most critical bills, like mortgage or rent, on time in order to protect your credit score.
During this period, many banks and companies have implemented relief measures to help those struggling with debt or loan payments amid the coronavirus outbreak. You may also qualify through many other federal rebates such as rental rebates or tax cuts.
If you have debt, such as with corporate credit cards and loans, remember to contact your providers and understand the benefits that you have access to in lieu of the new measures.
3. Check Your Benefits
With governments across the globe administering fiscal relief to aid those affected by the outbreak, it may be helpful to understand the benefits you are entitled to.
- If you’re self-employed
- If you work in the gig economy
- If you’ve lost your job because of the virus
- If your child’s school has closed
- If you’re unable to work because you have to look after someone who’s infected, etc.
Check with your local health authority to see how you can maximize the benefits offered by your local government.
Lastly, keep calm and carry on. A lot of the anxiety that we are experiencing stems from not knowing what will happen to us as the pandemic continues, or how we will be able to adjust to the change in our lives. However, the first step towards overcoming is acceptance. Acceptance that life is going to be different for a while and that your efforts are better used focusing on tasks you can control. If you are increasingly anxious about money, make use of the resources that are available to you. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with your financial situation, remember to extend a helping hand to friends and family in need.