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Top Tips For Keeping Your Finances Stable During COVID-19

Top Tips For Keeping Your Finances Stable During COVID-19
Top Tips For Keeping Your Finances Stable During COVID-19
The Coronavirus pandemic has made life difficult for billions of people around the world. People are losing their jobs, their livelihoods, their futures, and even their lives. We’re living in unprecedented times and it’s important to do what you can to hold on, to keep your finances stable, and to ride this storm.

Get What You’re Entitled To

Governments all over the world are doing their bit to help their citizens and the US government has been one of the most proactive. Businesses and individuals have been offered loans, grants, forgiveness programs, and deferments. If you find that you’re struggling to make ends meet, take advantage of as many of these as you are entitled to.

Don’t let pride stop you from eating or keeping a roof over your head and look into the following:

• Unemployment Benefits And Food Stamps
Credit Card Forgiveness And Student Loan Forgiveness
• Mortgage Payment Deferment
• Loan And Credit Card Deferment

You could be forgiven for thinking that deferment was difficult. After all, lenders have been offering hardship programs for decades and while these are great on paper, they haven’t always proved helpful in practice. However, the CARES Act and public pressure has pretty much forced their hand and they are now following through with their promises.

It’s a short-term fix to a potentially long-term problem, but it buys you some time and allows you to get your affairs in order. Just contact your lender directly, tell them about your situation, and they’ll work with you to find a solution.

Start Building An Emergency Fund

If you haven’t lost your job or suffered a major reduction in income, you’re in a unique position, one that millions of Americans would love to be in. Make sure you don’t waste it.

With mortgage payment deferments, loan forgiveness, and less money spent on fuel, luxuries, bars, clubs, stadiums, and concerts, there’s a good chance your finances will be growing. Rather than spending cash on frivolous things to help you through the tedium of lockdown, start building an emergency fund.

This fund will protect you if things eventually turn sour and you lose your job. You’ll also be protected in the event of a second wave and a delayed vaccine.

If your finances have taken a hit, it’s still important to do what you can. Tighten your belt, limit your spending to essential purchases, and move all additional income to an emergency fund. As bored as you are and as desperate as you are to buy new games, technology, or go on a shopping spree, those luxuries are not worth the future health of your family.

Think Twice About Travel

It’s tempting to spend big on a trip abroad, a concert binge or some other massive expense once all of this is over. However, that’s not a smart decision to make right now. Unless you’re one of the few whose finances have actually improved during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to avoid big purchases and make more sensible choices.

If you already have travel plans and are worried about your budget being stretched, put them on the backburner, get a refund, and keep that cash in a savings account instead.

Get Rid Of Unnecessary Subscriptions

The average American spends more than $111 on monthly subscriptions, spanning everything from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, to loot boxes, beauty boxes, and more. That’s a lot of money from purely luxury purchases and what’s even more alarming is that 84% of Americans massively underestimate just how much they spend.

That’s the problem with monthly subscriptions. It’s easy to dismiss them as costing just a few dollars a month. But it all adds up. $5 here and there eventually becomes $100 a month or $1,200 a year, and some households spend even more, going over $200 and even $300 a month.

It’s time to trim the fat and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions. Some of the biggest offenders here are $30+ gym subscriptions that you don’t (and probably can’t) use, and TV subscriptions that you started because of a free trial and never got around to cancelling.

Go through all of your payments, find the ones you no longer need, and cancel them. Be honest with yourself, be ruthless, and stop hoarding subscriptions!

Save All Extra Cash

The average American sees an unexpected windfall as completely expendable cash. It wasn’t there before, they didn’t do anything to earn it—easy come, easy go. This is true for lottery winnings, inheritances, tax rebates, and more. But money is money, and if you save it instead of spending it, you’ll secure and stabilize your financial future.

Summary: Stay Strong

Health is more important than money and you should never risk the former just to save the latter. We could be here for the long haul; it could be over soon. Whatever happens, it’s important to stay strong, keep an eye on your bank balance, get help when you can, and keep all of the above tips in mind.

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