Thanks to the Covid-19 Pandemic, millions of people around the world are experiencing high levels of anxiety. Topping the list of things to stress about is money, which is no surprise since personal finances have taken a huge hit. Lockdowns, businesses going under, and furloughs have all taken a toll on people’s ability to make money. This is why it’s crucial to protect the money you do have, as well as any income you may still have coming in.
Here are five ways to help protect your money during the pandemic:
1. Protect Your Health
I put this tip at the top of the list for a reason. If your health declines, for any reason, your ability to earn income will decrease or disappear altogether. No matter what your personal views are regarding the coronavirus, do whatever it takes to safeguard your health, and the health of your family. Everything from exercise, the food you eat, and limiting stress will directly affect your well-being, so be sure to make the conscious choices which are best for you and your family.
2. Manage Debt
If you’re one of the fortunate ones who have little to no debt you might be able to skip over this tip, but if not it’s time to get creative. If you’ve lost your job, or your hours have been significantly reduced, you may be struggling to pay your debts. If so, contact all of your debtors. Many banks and credit card companies are more than willing to work with you right now, so take advantage of the opportunity. You may be able to postpone payments for a few months, or even work out a lesser monthly payment. This kind of arrangement is good for you and your debtor alike. You get some temporary relief as you work to regain your financial footing, and your debtor doesn’t have to waste time and resources by resorting to debt collectors. Keep in mind that if you take advantage of a program that allows you to put off payments until sometime in the future, you’ll still owe the money. Take a close look at all of your debt, prioritize which ones to deal with first and take action. The sooner you get a plan together the better off you’ll be.
3. Look for Discounts
Many businesses are currently offering discounts that didn’t exist before the pandemic. For example, GEICO is offering a 15% discount to many insurers and so is Allstate. Many retailers are also offering steep discounts, especially to online shoppers. Check with your insurance companies and see if you’re eligible for a discount, and shop around before making any purchases to ensure you’re getting the lowest possible price. Many businesses are struggling too and are offering substantial discounts in order to make up losses. This can work to your advantage.
4. Go Easy on Your Emergency Fund
Hopefully, you have been putting back money in case of emergency. A global pandemic certainly qualifies as an emergency, and if you’ve been falling back on your stash of cash you’ve already seen how quickly it dwindles. Even if you have saved up a significant amount, stick to your budget and make cutbacks if necessary. It’s tough to pull back from the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to, but it’s better than running out of money. Buy what you need to get through the hard times, and as soon as you’re able start rebuilding your emergency fund.
5. Look For Income Producing Alternatives
If there’s one thing the coronavirus situation has accomplished, it has forced organizations to come up with alternative ways to conduct business. Companies that have never before offered delivery services, corporations finally embracing the concept of remote work, and dozens of other changes are quickly becoming standard operating procedure in the world of business. Within these changes are opportunities for people like you to earn money in ways that may have not been possible before. What may have been strictly an office job before, could now be a job that can be done from your home. Are you a consultant, speaker, tutor, or have a skill that is in demand? All of these things are being done virtually right now, and people are getting paid to do it. If you’re stuck at home anyway, how great would it to be to make money rather than stressing about when you’ll be able to go back to work?
People all around the world are trying their best to navigate themselves through one of the most challenges times in modern history. But it’s still possible to protect your money, and even find ways to stabilize yourself financially. Put these five ideas to work, and if you aren’t in a position to apply all of them right now, apply all that you can. Either way, you’ll be better equipped to get through this crisis and be prepared for whatever may happen in the future.