In the midst of the crisis brought by Coronavirus, it’s understandable that people all over the world are worried about their financial outlooks and economic viability. While you’re at home, here are seven things you can do right now to manage your finances:
Prioritize your bills.
This is a really good time to look into your bills, organize them, and identify which are critical and need to be paid immediately. It’s also helpful to check with your service providers if they are offering any assistance, such as suspension of bills or the possibility of skipping payments temporarily until the virus pandemic is over.
Reduce your spending.
This is the time to reduce spending on discretionary and non-essential products and services. Things like entertainment, vacations, and other items deemed luxury should be limited. Save as much as you can into your emergency fund in the event you lose your income in the next few months.
Get a hardship program from credit cards.
Credit card providers offer you hardship programs in the event you lose your income, and you have difficulty paying your debts. Some providers even offer a small period of non-payment. Check out this site on the assistance provided by banks for people wanting a little bit of flexibility.
Change how you pay for loans.
If you have a loan you’re paying for, check if there are any existing options such as temporary suspension of payments like forbearance and deferment. If you defer, you can avoid any interest accrual, while with forbearance, you can’t avoid the interest, causing your debt to grow. Best practice when it comes to forbearance is to pay your interest portion, so that your debt doesn’t grow.
Remove auto-debit payments.
You should also consider removing auto-debit payments for existing utilities and bills in the event you feel like you may be low on cash. This gives you flexibility in paying bills and expenditures that are more important. However, make sure that you do stay up-to-date with these payments as soon as you can, or check to see if there are options of paying in increments as opposed to the full sum.
Be wary of scams and price inflations.
There are scams and price gouging related to Coronavirus. Many governments around the world have taken measures and steps to ensure that businesses don’t take unfair advantage of consumers by increasing prices for essential items. If you do see businesses raking up the price for specific items, immediately file a complaint.
Get financial help.
If you’re worried and in need of some perspective of how things will be in terms of the economy and your financial situation, you can also speak to a financial advisor who can help you create a financial management plan for the next coming months. You can speak with a proactive consultant online on this link to help you get connected to over 1,600 tax and financial professionals.