Regardless of your income level, you must take a step to improve your financial handling, especially at a time like this. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in our lives, we’re forced to take a long hard look at how we manage our money today and in the future. Are we prepared for what lies ahead? What if something happens to us? Where does that leave our families? How about our kids?
This pandemic did not only change the way we look at money, but it also forced us to be circumspect about how much we earn, how we can improve on that, and how we can change our spending habits. Now more than ever, it’s important to protect what assets you have invested in and prepare for an uncertain future. If you don’t believe that, listen to what experts say about handling money at this strange time.
Protect Your Existing Assets
What assets do you have in your portfolio? Are they safe? Have you made the right move to protect them in case something happens to you or them? Insurance policies are always a touchy subject to people because they don’t see the practicality of these policies until they need them already. Is your house insured? Even prefabricated homes need insurance coverages despite the warranties provided by the manufacturers.
Get insurance for yourself, your family, and whatever investment you have in your portfolio. Protecting your assets before the pandemic was important. Today, during this time, it is critical to the survival of your family.
Boost Your Emergency Savings
Typically, you should have about three to six months’ worth of emergency funds saved. Experts are saying that the pandemic changed that. You need to have a year’s worth of your expenses in the bank. That fund will keep you afloat if you lose your job or your business has to close down. Trim the nonessential expenses from your budget and put that money into building your emergency fund.
Reconsider How You Pay Debts
Experts said that if you’re paying high-interest debts, it is time to shop around for balance transfer credit card offers or refinancing schemes. Most governments offered temporary debt relief on loans last year, so take advantage of these programs. Even before the pandemic, it is never advisable to use high-interest credit cards. If you can transfer your credit card balances to other cards with lower interest rates, then do it right now.
You should also take a look at how you can improve your credit score. A better credit score means lower interest rates. When you apply for a bank loan amid a pandemic, even with higher interest rates now because of increased risks, banks would still offer you a lower rate when they see you have a good credit score.
Invest More, if Possible
A lot of people are selling their investments right now because stocks are plummeting. Hold yourself if possible. If you don’t need the money, don’t take them out just yet from the stock market despite its volatility. According to experts, if you have to take them out, re-invest them in your retirement fund or other safer investment options.
Historically, the stock market will eventually rebound after turbulent economic times like this. Remember that despite the pandemic coming in like a hurricane, the stock market is looking fairly well.
Reassess Your Budget
Give your budget a makeover. Do you need that gym membership when you don’t feel safe going there? Financial advisors said people’s priority must be to reduce their non-essential expenses and focus on conserving cash. Since you are working from home, you should be spending less money on gas, takeout food, and parking fees. Now, use that extra money you can save as a financial cushion against the pandemic.
Help Whenever You Can
Surviving the pandemic financially isn’t just about what you’re doing at home. For you and your family to be financially secured, the whole economy has to improve. That means supporting local businesses by buying from them instead of the big players. If you have to gas up, go to independent fuel companies instead of international companies. Local businesses employ your neighbors. As long as you help your community survive the pandemic, you are doing your fair share of managing money well.
The economic downturn will have an unimaginable impact on the economy and your financial future. But remember that it is never too late to start managing your finances well. You have to listen to experts, secure your present money, and work on building it up for future pandemics.