In light of the recent events surrounding COVID-19, you may be filled with a sense of uncertainty, fear or confusion.
Will you or your loved ones get sick? Will you lose your job? Will you be forced to close the doors to your business? Will you be able to stay afloat if the virus continues to wreak havoc on the economy?
These are just a few questions you may have pondered in the last week or so.
The team here at Americans for Prosperity Foundation sympathizes with you and millions of others that will face undue financial hardships during the coronavirus crisis.
With so many unknowns, we want to share some tips to help you manage your financial health:
1. Work with creditors, lenders, and service providers to keep your accounts in good standing.
Many have already created options to help consumers find relief during this time of crisis. Contact your creditors, lenders, and service providers to learn about programs you may qualify for.
2. Cut all non-essentials from your budget.
If you haven’t looked at your budget in a bit, now’s the time to do so. Ax all non-essentials to free up room in your budget. Add those extra funds to your emergency savings.
3. Call debt collectors to discuss your options.
Are debt collectors always calling? It’s stressful to think about debts in these turbulent times, so it’s best to reach out to discuss repayment options that may be available to you. Request a plan that allows you to pay an amount that you can comfortably afford each month.
4. Reduce your discretionary spending.
Avoid non-essential expenditures until you have more insight into what the future holds. Doing so allows you to boost your emergency savings.
5. Don’t obsess over your investment accounts.
Market dips, like this one, are bound to happen. But they don’t last forever, and you could miss out on a load of earnings if you pull all your money out. If you’re worried sick over your account balances, reach out to your financial adviser for guidance.
6. Only pay the minimum on low-interest debts.
While paying the minimum on low-interest debts will cost you more in the long run, it’s best to hold on to your extra cash for financial emergencies that may arise.
7. Refinance your high-interest loans.
Interest rates are the lowest that they’ve been in years, so you could save a bundle by refinancing your high-interest debts. You’ll also enjoy lower monthly payments.
8. Invest in yourself through continuing education.
Did you know that hundreds of universities around the globe offer free distance learning courses? To explore your options for continued education, simply do a web search for “Online Distance Learning platforms” and you will find affordable and/or free courses on a host of subjects. You can use the knowledge and skills learned in the courses to start a business or advance your career when the dust settles.
9. Find ways to earn more.
Consider work-from-home opportunities to replace or increase your income. Or you can start that online business you’ve always dreamed of.
10. File for unemployment.
In the unfortunate event that you’re laid off, inquire about unemployment benefits right away. You can use benefitscheckup.org to determine if you qualify for assistance. If so, don’t delay filing a claim as the increased volume could cause delays in the disbursement of benefits in the near future.
Need more tips on managing your finances? Visit our Financial Freedom Center here. It’s free and includes valuable lessons, resources and activities to help you establish a solid financial foundation.
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This email does not constitute financial advice. Consult with your own accountant or financial advisor before making any decisions