Four Tips for Improving Financial Wellness During a Pandemic (or Anytime)

When you are going through unprecedented times of uncertainty and fear, one of the last things you want to worry about is finances. Follow these tips to avoid adding unnecessary strain.
four tips for surviving financially COVID

Know the difference between needs and wants

It’s not always easy distinguishing between what is essential and what isn’t. It’s even harder to give up those nonessential wants. If money is tight, it might be time to distinguish which expenses are “needs” and which are “wants.” This will help with the following recommendation.

Limit expenses and contribute to a savings account

One of the simplest ways of ensuring you have enough money at any given time is to consistently limit expenses and routinely contribute to a savings account. Use your list of “wants” from the previous tip to determine which ones you can postpone or eliminate altogether. Take the money you save and put it into a savings account. Doing this on a regular basis ensures you have money on hand in any situation AND, as an added bonus, it trains you to live on less money than you make.

10 ways to limit expenses

  1. Avoid eating out. This will save you $$$ and calories.
  2. Limit online shopping.
  3. Cancel entertainment subscriptions. Summer is a great time to do this.
  4. Pay off credit card statement balances each month.
  5. Wash your own car.
  6. Learn how to do simple home repairs instead of paying someone. YouTube is a great resource.
  7. Drink more water. Limit soda and beverages that cost money.
  8. Ride your bike, walk, or use public transportation.
  9. Program your thermostat.
  10. Pay more to loan principal amounts than required each month. This will save you interest dollars that are accruing every day.

Make a plan and follow it

Developing financial strength during a pandemic, and other tough times, requires committing to a strong financial plan. Make sure you know what your income is and what your expenses are and when they all take place. Decide before the month begins how much money you will pay for groceries, gas, recreation, and other expenses. Determine how much money you will save on eliminating expenses and set a goal on how much you will contribute to savings. Stick to your goals, even when you don’t feel like it.

Take advantage of available resources

Innumerable financial tools and resources are available. Do some research and utilize ones that appeal to you. It’s okay (and encouraged) to seek for help.

  • If needed, check to see if you qualify for any payment deferral programs—stop paying deferred loans until interest begins to accrue again.
  • Put your stimulus check to good use: pay off some principal of a loan, save it, invest it.
  • If you’re in need of money now, look into banking products that might help: Lines of Credits, 0 percent credit cards, or personal loans. Make sure you are responsible about paying them off before they accrue interest.

The impacts of this pandemic won’t go away anytime soon. If you can achieve financial wellness by following these steps and others, you can open up opportunities to enjoy life more and focus on the things, and people, that really matter.