Financial Management During a Pandemic
With quarantine measures set to continue for weeks or months in some nations, it's natural for funds to feel tight. These five top tips should provide some relief for anyone struggling with finances during this pandemic.
After weeks of being put under stringent lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people will be bracing for difficult days (or even weeks) ahead even as these measures are gradually lifted.
Even then, people need to make ends meet in one way or another. And while it is difficult to know how and when this crisis will actually end, it is important now more than ever to make good financial decisions.
Let’s take a look at a few important tips for how you can keep yourself from going under in these difficult times:
1. Keep a Level Head
The coronavirus, which causes the deadly disease known as COVID-19, has permeated local and international news since it was first detected in China. Now, it has become a crisis that governments are desperately trying to contain.
If you have been following the news lately, chances are you have been on a spending spree for essentials. With quarantine measures in place, many are now finding it hard to stock up on the essentials like toilet paper.
It is easy to be confused with all the information out there regarding the pandemic. If you let your guard down and make unnecessary purchases as a result, you can do yourself a lot of harm.
Whatever happens, it’s best to remain calm and follow government advisories. At this point, the best you can do is to prevent the spread of the virus and get updates from trusted news sources. This will help you gain clarity as you figure out what to do with your current resources.
Whatever happens, it’s best to remain calm and follow government advisories.
2. Call Up Your Credit Card Company
Having a credit card is convenient, but when you are in the middle of a serious health crisis, you have to do what you can to get by.
Luckily, consumers in the US can breathe a sigh of relief as major credit card providers have agreed to waive payments for March and possibly beyond. All you have to do is to contact the number on the back of your card and ask your bank about how you can get relief.
It’s important to note that providers such as American Express and Capital One have allowed cardholders to skip payments without interest. Other banks such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo have also announced that they are offering to waive fees and provide other forms of hardship assistance. Again, you will need to contact your bank and see what they are offering.
3. Use Your Savings
This is a reasonable time to dip into your savings account.
Whether it’s a time deposit account, notice accounts or a fixed rate savings account, it would be practical to use this money as a buffer to get you through the entire quarantine period. At any rate, ensure that you can withdraw the amount you need without any penalties.
4. Spend Less by Scaling Down or Discounting
So long as this crisis lasts, it is important to keep your spending to a minimum. This may mean scaling down on non-essential expenses such as streaming subscriptions and luxuries bought online. These are sacrifices you may need to make to keep yourself financially afloat in the next few weeks or until the crisis passes.
Another way you can slow down the depletion of your hard cash reserves is to make full use of gift cards, loyalty points, and discount vouchers. These will really come in handy if you are going out shopping for groceries.
And considering that this is a national health emergency, you should consider making use of cards that help you pay less for prescription medicine. Check out prescription discount card details for where and how to find the best deals.
5. Leverage Mortgage and Rent Holidays
One good thing right now is that mortgage providers are offering different types of mortgage relief interventions for homeowners who can defer making payments through a 90-day period.
If you are in a difficult situation, it is best to contact your lender and see if you can strike up a forbearance agreement.
If you’re renting an apartment, make sure to talk with your landlord to discuss new payment terms and see if you can avoid paying late penalties. Local governments are prohibiting evictions from taking place. This could give significant relief if you have been displaced as a result of the pandemic.
In such extraordinary times, you need to keep your finances from dwindling. This might take simple sacrifices or leveraging government aid efforts. In either case, your financial survival will depend at least partly on the measures you take.