I have received SO MANY emails from multiple content creators with lots of insight and advice, but I thought I would try to simplify it for my online community to help cut through all of the noise that we are hearing today.
Now let's talk money.
If you've been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the loss of a job or the temporary shut down of your business, you have likely heard all of the plans and resources being put out by the media on relief efforts around things like rent/mortgages, credit card debt, and student loans. If your income is being compromised at this time, it may be time to contact your lenders and request the use of these temporary relief offers. While the options vary by lender, it would still be worthwhile to make contact and see how you can reduce your monthly bill payment amounts during this difficult time.
I looked at a few different articles that would help provide quick access and simple answers and found that Nerd Wallet's recent blog post was the most helpful. In this article are multiple links to a variety of different financial questions as well as a web form where you can plug in your numbers and get an idea of what your stimulus check will look like. Check out the blog and see what I mean: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/answers-to-coronavirus-questions/
If you're income was NOT significantly impacted due to COVID-19 whether because your occupation falls under "essential services" or because your employer has made adequate accommodations for you to work from home, here are some tips that my personal financial adviser shared with me this week:
1) Build up your emergency fund - Now that you're working from home, and staying in all weekend; you may notice your spending is down. You're savings money on gas, hair/nails, personal shopping, and entertainment. Commit to setting aside those funds into a savings account to build up your emergency fund.
2) Credit card debt - Continue to make your payments on-time, rather than double up on payment amounts, it's OK to stick to the minimum payment amounts for now. If your credit card statement asks for a minimum payment of $50.00, but you're used to sending payments of $100.00, just sent the minimum payment for now and transfer that other $50.00 into your savings account/emergency fund. You can always go back to doubling up on payment amounts once we're through this pandemic.
3) Avoid any large financial decisions for now - This isn't the time to be taking out big loans, buying a new car, or wracking up further credit card debt for unessential purchases. Although it sounds like a good idea at some point, right now it's best to take a pause and make sound financial investments if (and only if) they make long-term sense. Any financial decision made in a rush or out of fear, can result to be a mistake later and potentially impact more people than we know.
Have you seen the insane amounts of toilet paper people are buying? If so, you're likely aware of the many others (elders included) who are now struggling to find and purchase the toilet paper they need as well! See what I mean? Fear-based spending can be hurtful to you as well as others.
What are some financial questions you have? Send them our way and we will help get those answered for you. Stay safe, stay indoors, and please wash your hands.