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The coronavirus pandemic has caused hardship for millions of people around the world. Many are now reassessing their financial landscape and turning to debt management services for help. These unprecedented times have created uncertainty and fear for those who have lost their jobs or seen significant drops in business revenue and personal income. As your next rent or mortgage payment nears and bills begin to pile up, the following tips should help you get through any financial side-effects you are experiencing.
1. Determine Basic Needs When Setting Budget
As you are setting and adjusting your personal budget to adapt to changes in your income, it is more important than ever to be able to differentiate between what you need and what you want. Paring down to only the most essential items will save funds for those vital bills that give you a roof over your head and the sustenance to keep going. Look at this time as an opportunity to reevaluate your financial status and examine the way you create and implement your budget.
2. Stick to a Plan
Make an honest assessment of your finances, create a plan to get through these unprecedented times, and then stick to it. Budget how much you will need each month for food, gas, and other important expenses, and try to set aside something to put into savings. This will likely mean sacrificing some extras that have become a regular part of your life. If you do not set specific goals and do your best to follow the plan, you may find yourself and your family in dire straits in the months to come.
3. Limit Unnecessary Expenses
Taking a hard look at where your money goes every month will reveal expenses and habits that add financial strain without providing for your needs. Cutting down on eating out, shopping online, and other activities will help you gain control over your budget and even allow you to pay off debts and save for the future. Wash your car instead of taking it to an expensive car wash. Drink water instead of paying for soda and other costly beverages. Program your thermostat and pay attention to other household systems that can blow up your utility bills. These small steps can add up to big savings.
4. Mortgage Refinance
Through the worldwide financial crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, programs have been created to ease the burden for homeowners. Interest rates are at an all-time low and the Federal Reserve has slashed them again, making it an ideal time to refinance home mortgages. The smallest reduction in your rate can lead to big savings in the long run. You can also use this time to shorten the terms of a home loan, allowing the mortgage to be paid off quicker.
5. Use Available Resources
There’s a wide range of resources dedicated to helping those in financial distress. Online research will revea ltools and resources that can help. Payment deferral programs, credit cards, and personal loans can save you from immediate trouble. However, it is important to understand the details of these forms of assistance and the inherent dangers they pose if you cannot keep up with payments.
The world changed as the novel coronavirus took hold across the globe. If you are among those whose livelihoods and income were impacted, there are ways to get through these troubled times and create stability for you and your family. It takes work, honesty, and in some cases, the bravery to ask for help.