We are all living at a difficult time. The challenges posed by Covid-19 affect all of us. The time to be more vigilant with our finances is indeed now. So, whether you have been recently laid off due to the coronavirus or living on a reduced income, there are ways you can manage your finances by following these quick money saving hacks.
In no particular order, here are some practical ways to make better financial decisions during this difficult time.
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1. Watch out for scammers.
Scammers will try to take advantage of the coronavirus. And they can take many forms. Watch out for cold calls from unknown numbers. Protect your personal information and don’t share your login information with anyone. While shopping online, check to see if the website is legit.
2. Put your government check to good use.
If you have received a stimulus check from the government due to this pandemic, refrain from spending it on unnecessary things. If all your monthly expenses are already covered, use some of that money towards your retirement savings.
3. Reduce your spending and save.
Right now, every penny matters. So look into monthly expenses and see what you can cut or live without. Can you cut your gym membership and save that money?
Are your utility bills too high? Would you consider switching to a cheaper option?
Truebill can reduce your bills (whether it’s cable, subscriptions) by finding hidden discounts and by cancelling unwanted subscriptions.
All you need to do is connect your bills and other subscriptions to Truebill. And they will take care of the rest so you don’t have to overpay on your bills anymore. They will lower your bills.
4. Keep making payments on your credit card debt.
While paying your government student debt is delayed until September, you still need to pay your credit card debt. If you can’t make the full payment, try to make the minimum to avoid late fees.
5. Make a budget for the next 3 months.
If you have never made a budget before, now is the time to create one for the next 3 months. Use your income and monthly expenses to create a new budget. Use any extra money left and add it to your emergency fund.
This will give you peace of mind that if things go wrong (such as getting laid off) your expenses will be covered in the short term.
6. Ask for rent or mortgage relief.
If you think you won’t be able to pay your rent due to this pandemic, talk to your landlord. Ask if you can defer your payment for 30 days or more. Some states have already cautioned landlords not to evict anyone for non-payment during this pandemic. But if your state has not, reach out to your landlord and ask your own relief. but be sure to put it in writing.
You should do the same thing if you’re paying a mortgage by reaching out to your mortgage lender.
7. Get financial assistance from your state and local government.
In addition to the Covid-19 stimulus check, you can get financial assistance from your local government. Go to your city’s website and see if there are any assistance programs that you may qualify for.
Are these money saving hacks helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Work with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.