Navigating our lives during a pandemic is really hard. With health and safety being at the top of our concerns, financial worries hit us just as hard. COVID19 has caused people to lost their job or had their working hours cut, some had already received their last paycheck and some are finding it hard to find another job or start even a small business.
Amidst this crisis, let me share a few steps you can take to reduce the chances of facing financial hardship.
Know your household income
Nowadays, your financial situation might have changed and it’s time to reassess your income. If you or a member of your family lost work due to COVID-19, it’s time to revisit your budget. You have to start revising it accordingly and that means you have to reduce your electricity and water consumption, spending on food and rentals, or you might have to cancel some of your household subscriptions that are not really necessary for your daily survival.
It will not always be that easy and simple. If you have some debts in recent months, you’ll likely need to cut back your expenses even more and now might be the time to consider checking on any savings you have to cover some of your daily spending.
Reduce your expenses
Pay down your debt
Once you have determine the income of your household, it’s time to trim your budget to ensure your financial security in this trying time. The first step is to identify which of your regular expenses are essential and which are not. It is obvious that food, shelter, and medicine are some of the major essential needs. Some of the expenses you can reduce is travel, dining out, clothing or fashion. Now is the time to sacrifice a lot of things that you have been enjoying in the past and try to live a basic and simple life.
A lost job or income reduced is not an excuse for you not to pay your dues. Continue making payments even if you have very limited budget. Pay in installment, pay even half of your monthly dues. Talk to your bank and explain that you can’t afford to pay on time. This will give you a better feeling every day, a life that’s a bit stress-free despite the pandemic.
To help you decide easier how much you might need to pay for your credits or debts, use this debt payment calculator. It will help you figure out when a given debt will be paid off along with how much interest you will spend on the debt & the average monthly interest.
When any variable is changed, Calculations update automatically. The calculator will inform you to increase your payment amount if payments are insufficient to cover the interest expense.
Create an emergency fund
You might have heard of the saying “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” It is true in this uncertain time and it is very critical to plan for worst-case scenarios. Now is also the time to contribute to an emergency fund in case your household income had decreased.
If you’re able to save, save as much as you can. Your emergency funds should contain enough money to cover three to six months of expenses. It might not be feasible for a short period of time but, you have to try your best. It is hard to make ends meet nowadays, but our only way to survive is to save and brace ourselves for the rainy and stormy days.