How to Handle Your Personal Finances During the Coronavirus
The coronavirus has torn through our economy and tore out all the gains made since 2016. The markets are down more than 3,000 points on the DOW and businesses are closing everywhere. People everywhere are out of work, or being forced to work on a reduced schedule, limiting their income. Service workers are no longer receiving their lifeblood: tips. So you may be wondering how to handle your personal finances during the coronavirus:
Start With a “Deep Dive” of Your Spending
Print (or download) your past three to six months of credit card statements, bank documents and any other financial information you have at your fingertips. Make sure you know where every dollar and cent is going. After you have figured out exactly how much you are spending (and where you’re spending it), you can determine what can reasonably be cut out of your spending. Now, this does NOT mean stop supporting local business and stop spending altogether.
That’s the first step for the American economy to be in a recession. However, maybe you’re spending too much at Starbucks, or maybe you’re just going out too much. Regardless of the reason, look at what you can save. Try creating a budget. This is a great time to get stuck in better financial habits.
Being More Financially Responsible is the Key to Success
Habits start with your effort. If you can create healthy habits during this uncertain time then you will not only be doing well now, you’ll come out of this stronger, healthier and more responsible than you were before this global pandemic. Start out by trying to save 10% of anything you get, then in a month, save an extra 5%, then in another two months save another 5%. If you start saving 20% of your money, regardless of how much that actually is, you will be in a much better financial state in the near future. Not to mention, you won’t have to rely on a credit card to finance a purchase. You’ll be able to finance it yourself with 0% interest. Just pay yourself back as if you were your credit card company. This is on top of whatever you have to pay yourself back each month.
What if I Lost my Job or Most of my Income Due to the Economy?
Step 1 would be to file for unemployment. Your application should be expedited during this time, however once that is done your second priority should be to start looking for work. There are a number of companies that are encouraging individuals to apply for short term jobs while they are temporarily out of work, or even new, full-time employment. For example, Amazon, Walmart and even Target are just three of the large companies looking for temporary and full-time staff.
Amazon says, “We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back,” this message comes after Amazon announced they would be opening 100,000 new jobs in the united states. They are also encouraging employees to join their teams from the service industry, people from restaurants, hotels and anything service-related.