It's one thing to learn how to better manage your money, it's another to manage your money during a recession, and yet another to manage your money during a recession and a pandemic, where everything and everyone is on lock down and resources are limited.
Financial expert, Jennifer Streaks, shares some money tips that we all should be taking in order to stay afloat during these unprecedented times.
1. File Your Taxes
Go ahead and get it out of the way! This will make it easier to get your stimulus check, if you qualify. This will especially come in handy for those who have been laid off due to COVID-19. Although there has been an extension to file taxes until July 15, you should still do your best to get it in early to avoid delays.
2. Get An Extension On Payment Deadlines
Call your creditors and ask for forbearance on your payments. The entire world is on pause right now, and most businesses are being lenient towards their customers when it comes to funds that are owed.
3. Focus On Essentials Only
This is not the time to stock up on unnecessary items. Right now, pay attention to what you need the most; food and in some cases, medication. In case of a complete lockdown (including grocery stores), you want to be sure that you are stocked with a lot of canned goods and whatever medication is needed to hold over for an extended period of time.
4. Track Expenses
Take the time, sit down and see where your money is going. There are many people that are seeing how much they spend on Uber, dry cleaning, Starbucks etc., and realizing how much money is wasted. Take a look at any subscription services that you don't need that can be put on hold for now. These payments can be resumed when normal life is back on track.
5. Seek Financial Assistance
If you have not already, file for unemployment. Yes, the task is daunting because many states are overwhelmed, but do it so those funds can start coming in. You also want to be mindful of the fact that many people are applying at this time, so the sooner you get in, the sooner you can get access to funds to sustain you. If you don't qualify for unemployment, there may be new government-funded financial assistance programs specifically for those who are impacted by COVID-19.
6. Use Your Emergency Fund
If you need to dip into savings, go ahead and do so. This is what savings are for! The best use of your savings right now is to try to get at least two weeks worth of groceries at a time, and whatever extra essential supplies are needed.
7. Create A Pandemic BudgetShutterstock
Plan out a budget specifically for this pandemic. Money management is extremely important right now, and whatever money you already have, needs to last.
Jennifer Streaks is a financial securities expert, journalist and author. She has been an on-air commentator for years (MSNBC, Fox Business) and is a columnist/reporter having written for The Huffington Post, Motley Fool and Black Enterprise, as well as been a contributor for CNBC. Featured on national news outlets, Jennifer published her highly lauded book Thrive!...Affordably available on Amazon.com.
Featured image by Shutterstock