The world has changed, and we must change with it.
So, how should the average person be rethinking their personal finances in the age of quarantine and Coronavirus? Millions of Americans are making less money or seeing income streams dry up completely because of the economic shutdown.
If you’re out of work, then one upside to the quarantine may be saving on your commute. But you might be spending more on less frequent grocery runs, cleaning products, and at-home entertainment options.
One thing the pandemic has really underscored is the importance of having an emergency savings fund. The Federal Reserve estimates that 39 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover an unplanned $400 expense.
Still, there are families who have been frugal and built up a substantial savings account that may be feeling the financial pinch at this time. In these instances, the best course of action may be simply prioritizing bills. For example, if your credit card payment is due but you also need to pay your phone bill, it may be wise to call your credit card company and ask for more time. And don’t be afraid to ask if they can waive the interest for these extenuating circumstances. Some companies are making these types of offers already, but often you must initiate the contact and make the request.
Cut back on expenses where you’re able to. This includes memberships and extracurricular activities such as piano lessons and karate. With so much uncertainty at the forefront of the American collective consciousness, it is more important than ever to build up your emergency savings.
Nobody knows how long the quarantine and the pandemic will last but with a centralized focus on changing your relationship with money, it may be possible to make the entire ordeal a little less painful.