Dark Days: 5 Effective Strategies To Safeguard Your Finances During The COVID-19 Pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, everyone’s top priority is keeping their families safe and healthy. As such, it’s easy to lose sight of other things that are just as important during this time such as keeping your finances healthy, too. Not keeping close track of your finances during this time can lead to rough times ahead, especially with the world’s economic future so uncertain right now.

Dark Days: 5 Effective Strategies To Safeguard Your Finances During The COVID-19 Pandemic
[ Image:Steve Buissinne, Pixabay ]

It’s important to take extra care with your finances at this time, doing what’s necessary to keep everything in order. Here are a few tips to help you safeguard your finances during the coronavirus crisis:

1. Get Financial Help
Before you fall into a hole you have difficulty digging yourself out of, get debt help to lower your payments, and eliminate as much debt as possible. Many agencies offer debt consolidation, credit counseling, and/or small low-interest loans to help people get out of debt as fast as possible. If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet during this tough time, don’t think you have to go it alone. Help is just a phone call away.

2. Determine Needs vs. Wants
Tough economic times call for even tougher economic decisions. This is especially true if you’re laid off right now and are accustomed to buying the things you want whenever you want. If you aren’t bringing in a paycheck during the pandemic, you’ll need to determine what purchases you can do without to free up cash for the things you need.

If you’ve never had a budget before, take a few minutes to create one now using your new financial situation as a guide to figure out what you need and what you don’t. When things go back to normal, you can always add your wants back in. Besides, you can also save some money by not traveling for a year during this tough time and check border open when you are ready to plan your trip.

3. Think Carefully about that Emergency Fund
If you don’t have an existing emergency fund, you should begin building one right away. Put away as much as you can afford into a savings account with the idea of stockpiling 3-6 months’ worth of expenses.

If you already have an emergency fund, try not to touch it unless you absolutely have to. Try other avenues of financial help such as food banks or COVID-19 forgiveness plans before you dip into that emergency savings.

4. Don’t Panic and Stick with Your Investment Plan
It’s not easy staying calm in the midst of a financial crisis, but if you already have an investment plan in place, it’s best to stay the course. If you have a financial advisor, talk to him about his recommendations for your investments. 

He has likely built a plan that’s designed to withstand the fluctuations of a turbulent market, in which case, it makes sense to stay put and follow the plan. If he advises a change, use your judgment, and decide what’s best for you.

5. Beware of Scams
Cybercriminals are out in full force right now. They have begun taking advantage of the situation with COVID-19 scams, fake check scams, and IRS stimulus payment scams. You must educate yourself on these scams, so you don’t fall victim to them. It’s also a good idea to set up alerts on your credit card accounts, bank accounts, and credit union accounts, so if any suspicious activity takes place, you’ll know about it right away.

We know you and your family’s health is a top priority right now, but we encourage you to also pay attention to your financial well-being, too. Use the tips above to make sure your finances weather the storm and come out on the other side in good shape.

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