As we, as a nation, continue to deal with this global pandemic, there are different financial concerns. I can only imagine that we have all been impacted in one way or another, some more than others. With over 36 million people filing for unemployment, small businesses closing their doors, bigger companies filing for bankruptcy all because of the financial impact of Covid-19, which is broad reaching. The effect is also being felt by families that are still working with an increase in grocery bills, home activities, unique entertainment and more.
Here’s a few financial tips to utilize to bring some financial relief to households.
1. Create a budget! While this sounds so underwhelming; however, it is one of the most abstract benefits a person/household can do. At very minimum writing down all household expenses (payoff amount, minimum payment, interest rate, due date) is a potent tool. Additionally, it helps when doing the next steps, so you won’t over commit on any repayment plans. Again, a written budget helps to visually see where your finances are going and aids in making better decisions on where to allocate household income more efficiently.
2. Unemployment benefits are available in every state. Also, with a declared Federal Emergency in place, an additional $600 a week is available till July 31st. Even if you have not applied, it is retroactive, so now is the time. In Ohio, go visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ for benefits.
3. In addition, call all your creditors (credit cards, student loans, mortgage company, lines of credit, etc.) and ask what assistance they can provide. Even if you are still working, call and ask for assistance because of the uncertainty of income. If you are not working, ensure to let them know this. Each company has different ways to assist, so ensure to have a pen and pad to write down all the options. Be sure to write down the full name of the person speaking with along with the date and time. Even ask for the extension and name of department. Lastly, before accepting any terms, be sure to obtain it in writing.
A point to note, when talking to your mortgage company/servicer, be sure only to utilize what they offer if it makes sense for you in the short and long term. There are plenty of pros and cons, so pay special attention to the details being offered. This is a case where it may even make sense to contact a financial advisor to help weight the options.
(*Side Note), Yes, this all can get a little confusing, so I recommend a little trick. Get a manila folder and put all notes, documents in it. This way, all your important information is in one place.
Now, if you master these steps, you will be able to reduce expenses with the aim to increase savings or for those that are unemployed, to sustain. For others that are still working, this will allow you to increase your savings to be better prepared for unexpected situations.
Next week, I will share, how to leverage these savings during this crisis to create wealth!
Any questions, feel free to contact me at AskTiffanyH@gmail.com or on Instagram at @Ask_TiffanyH, Financial Planner & Realtor.