Need financial advice tips to get you through the crisis?
Need to take control of your money during the global pandemic?
Are your bills piling up and you’re unsure how to make ends meet? Do you worry about paying your rent, mortgage, or credit cards during the current crisis? Lost your job or losing your self-employed income? You’re not the only one.
Some days it may feel like life has been put on pause due to the global pandemic. But, that isn’t the case. Life is still moving along, bills still need to be paid, and finances tend to cause stress in our lives already.
You may even be in a more unique situation that calls for extra care with your finances and your mental health; being pregnant, furloughed from your job, or preparing to move are big life events that tend to spark stress. Doing these things during a global crisis can cause heightened anxiety.
Take solace in the fact that right now, you are not alone. Although people’s specific situations may differ from your own, others are struggling to make it through these unsettling times. Today we want to share practical financial advice tips to help you feel empowered through this crisis and beyond.
You have options and you can get through this tough time!
Top Financial Tips to Get You Through the Pandemic
#1. Create A Financial Plan
A smart step to take right now and to feel more prepared in the future is to create a financial plan. It might seem beyond the time to plan your financial future if you’re already feeling anxious about the health of your wealth.
However, financial planning can help you take control of your money and put your mind at ease. Additionally, it can help prevent these anxious feelings related to your money in the future.
Having a financial plan allows you to think as soon as the month ahead and all the way to your retirement years. Creating a plan like this will be beneficial, especially right now as it will assist you in getting through any financial anxiety caused by the current crisis.
Once you start creating the habit of financial planning, you’ll be used to setting aside time to create a budget and plan for the future on a regular basis. This way, if uncertain times hit again down the road, you know you’ll be financially prepared and you can avoid that unwanted stress caused by the money you may be feeling right now.
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#2. What To Do With Your Incoming Money
If you’re able to work from home or are collecting unemployment assistance due to the pandemic, now is the time to try to save as much money as possible. First things first, if you don’t know what you qualify for, be sure to do your research, speak to your bank, financial advisor, or accountant.
This can be difficult if your hours are cut down or the check from unemployment isn’t equivalent to what you’re used to. But there are some pieces of financial advice to take into consideration when you’re spending throughout this crisis.
Nows the Time For Savings and Emergency Funds
With salons, stores, and restaurants closed, you’d be surprised at how easily you can save money you were once spending on recreational activities. Now is the time to download an app to help you save all that extra cash.
Don’t be afraid to dip into your savings account; your savings is for emergencies and a global pandemic qualifies as one! Still, be mindful of what you’re using it for, maybe don’t go on a shopping spree.
However, if you need extra money for bills, food, or even if you want to treat your children to something during these tough times, don’t be too hard on yourself for withdrawing some money from your savings.
#3. If You Want To Tackle Home Renovations
One of the best activities to stay entertained right now is to do home projects. You may have the extra time to update your decor, paint, build a deck, or whatever may be on your list. And with hardware stores like Home depot offering curbside pickup and delivery, it’s easy to get what you need.
Of course, all of these projects cost money so here are some of the smartest ways to finance these activities so you can have some fun right now! Typically the most expensive part of renovations is the labor costs, but with all this spare time on your hands, you can do the work.
Remember that when you choose to finance a project, you are creating debt. There’s no need to be scared of debt if you know your job and income are secure or regular. This allows you to keep your cash for necessities like food, medication, and bills.
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- Credit cards can be used to finance things you want to do right now. When you choose a card that gives you rewards, you can use those benefits towards future purchases or get cashback. But avoid carrying a balance.
- Home equity loans are similar to taking out a second mortgage. However, it’s not as scary as that sounds! This loan is giving you the equity you own in your house already as cash right now but is secured against your home.
- Home improvement loans are very similar to a credit card. It’s a personal loan that you will take out from a bank but the difference is that it can only be used towards home projects. If you feel you may not get approved for a credit card, this is another route to try.
Home improvement projects and other hobbies are keeping people busy and sane right now, and that may be the most important thing to power through this crisis. You don’t have to overspend, with there 30 home projects under $150, and these 40 cheap home improvement ideas.
#4. If You’re In The Market For A New Home
Buying a home might sound like a crazy thing to do right now, but it’s possible and even necessary for some people. More than ever, people are fleeing cities to get to the suburbs. This crisis is making people realize that they may need more space for their family heading into the future.
Additionally, you may have already had the plan to expand your family or purchase a home before the pandemic hit the United States, making this process more complicated.
For first time home buyers, learning about FHA loans may be the smartest move considering the crisis at hand. This loan allows you to put less money down than you would be required to if you used a conventional loan. To ease your mind of the financial burden buying a house can cause, an FHA loan might be the answer.
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For homeowners needing to sell, it’s worth it to spend the extra money on a realtor right now. They will help you get your home advertised virtually in all the best places, as people cannot come and see it in person. Selling it yourself may cause even more stress and anxiety than it’s worth enduring.
#5. Ways To Lower Your Monthly Bills
Now is the time to get creative and think critically about your monthly spending. You have the extra time to reevaluate your spending habits. This ensures that you’re not overspending on things that you don’t want or don’t use.
For starters, consider your monthly subscriptions such as streaming services, gym memberships, or beauty boxes. If you aren’t using them as much as you’d like (or at all!) then cancel them to save yourself some money each month.
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Also, reach out to your car or home insurance companies to see if they’re offering a discount. There’s no point paying the same amount if you’re not driving your car very much or at all during this crisis, which could last months.
Right now, there is government forgiveness for federal student loans; banks are also offering forgiveness on mortgage payments, student loans, or other monthly loans you may pay. You can lower your monthly expenses by reaching out to any lenders and learning more about your options to lower the bills or temporarily suspend paying them altogether.
Although some of these solutions may only be temporary, we aren’t exactly sure how long this will last. So, it’s worth it to pause that gym membership or take advantage of student loan forgiveness if you want to save your money right now. Knowing that you are building up your savings can help give you peace of mind heading into the future.
#6. Stay Vigilant From Scams
Because of the current crisis, email and telephone scammers have been increasing their outreach to unsuspecting victims. They’re aware that people are spending more time at home and are more likely to answer phone calls and emails. Additionally, they know that people are paying more attention to their finances right now due to the crisis. Millions of Americans have been laid off from work, and they use these vulnerabilities to hurt you.
The best practice to keep in mind is to never give personal information like social security numbers, bank account information, or credit card numbers over the phone or via email.
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However, there are additional steps you can take for your safety:
- Check the email sender. It may appear that an email is coming from your bank, cell phone provider, or another reputable source. However, you can click the email sender to reveal the address they are sending from. If it’s not coming from an email associated with the sender’s website then don’t respond.
- Know that the IRS and banks will never ask for personal information for the first time via the phone. They will always send letters ahead of time to warn you of any issues. If you get a call that you are unsure of, ask to hang up and return the call. Then, you can call the company to ensure the call is real. If it’s not, there is no need to call a scammer back!
- Install anti-virus or malware software to protect your devices when browsing online. If you accidentally click a bad link or end up on the wrong website, it can keep you safe. With so many online applications for support, loans, and medical advice at this time you want to stay secure. Please never share your personal information over an insecure network.
Scammers have become smarter and more vigilant. They don’t usually try to scam people out of their whole life savings but smaller amounts of money instead. But in the current crisis, hundreds or thousands of dollars can make a difference in whether someone is able to pay their bills for the month or not. So, don’t be afraid to question and deny anyone who is asking for personal information.
Be sure to share this financial advice tip with your loved ones, as the elders are more likely to be targeted during this crisis!
#7. Prioritize Your Self Care
The last piece of advice I have is to always prioritize your self-care. None of the tips mentioned will work to help you thrive in this crisis if you’re not taking care of your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
When you’re happy, you’ll feel more motivated and inspired to handle the less-than-fun areas of your life too, like your finances. This is especially true if you have to spend a lot of time on the phone or filling out forms online applying for benefits.
Finally, always listen to what your body needs. With all of this extra time spent at home, some days you may feel motivated and others you may feel overwhelmed and just want to relax. Don’t pressure yourself to relax when you want to be productive. Or to be productive when you want to take this time to chill out!
Whether you’re out of work, needing to move, or just want to feel more comfortable with your finances in the future, with these few tips you can feel better prepared for what is to come. Finances cause a lot of stress normally, but with the state of the world right now, it’s only becoming worse.
Remember, prioritizing your self-care can help you more than you realize, especially with anxiety over money.
It All Starts with a Budget
Worried you’re overspending during the pandemic? Are you ready to apply these simple financial advice tips to your finances? You can start by creating a budget.
Get Your Simple Budget Spreadsheet
With the Simple Budget Spreadsheet, you’ll be able to track your spending and savings. It’s easy to use and compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Excel. It’s time to figure out your finances so you can get through this current crisis.
Help others by sharing this post or commenting below to help with anxiety related to money. Let us know any financial advice you have been using throughout this pandemic crisis!
Do you have financial advice tips for this crisis?