The Coronavirus, COVID19, the Pandemic, or “this whole thing that is happening” has impacted most of the world. The stock market has taken multiple hits, as has the oil and gas industry, and even agriculture is being affected due to sudden surplusages that are causing the market rate of meat and produce to drop. People are losing their jobs, and perhaps no other area will be more impacted than small businesses.
This is why you need to play the long game and think long-term. Most Americans have several thousands of dollars in debt, and even though many of us have received stimulus checks, some will view those are a nice little windfall to do some shopping. What you really need to be doing is scale back your spending. Save your money.
How to save
- Make a budget and stick with it. Having a budget written down is the first step to spending within your means.
- Eliminate incidental spending, impulse buys and other items that are going to sap your income. In this way, shopping online can be very beneficial, especially at the grocery store. You only purchase what you have added to your online cart too, which makes impulse buys on the way to the line from the bread and milk at the back of the store a thing of the past.
- Scale back your spending. Consider which items are luxury items versus which are necessities. Can you buy off-brand to shave a little bit more off your expenses at the grocery store?
- Start saving. Transfer cash from your checking account to your savings account, and forget it is there. The money in your checking is what you have to spend, and whatever you don’t spend needs to be put into savings as well. You’ll quickly see an increase in your savings, which can be used for emergencies.
- 401K. Don’t touch it. With market fluctuations the value of your 401K is changing daily. Though it is tempting to cash it out, you will lose a lot of money due to penalties, market value, and other factors.
Work with your lenders
Many of us are losing their jobs, so the future may be uncertain when it comes to how to make payments on bills such as credit cards. If you’re not able to pay your bills on time, contact your lenders before and let them know. Talk with a manager and discuss with them how much you can afford after you have budgeted for necessities such as food, car payments, mortgage, and insurance. Before long, you can restart paying regular payments without accruing penalties and fees.
Cash Time has weathered through many economic downturns and has many resources to help you in these times. Contact us to learn more about how you can improve your situation. We’re all in this together!