Are you wondering what to do with your finances during the Coronavirus outbreak? It’s normal to feel scared about your family’s health and finances. The Coronavirus is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Businesses and schools are shutting down and residents are told to stay at home. It’s normal to feel anxious and scared about your financial future. But, you can gain control over the financial uncertainty by doing these 11 money moves now. Prepare now and understand that you can take action by deciding how you will deal with your money. Don’t panic! You can weather the storm if you follow these common-sense money moves to make during the Coronavirus.
Money Moves to Make During the Coronavirus
#1 Pause any extra payments to debt and just pay the minimum
If you’re paying extra debt payments, pause and just pay the minimum. There are several methods to paying off debt including the debt snowball or the debt avalanche. But now is not the time to pay extra towards debt. This also applies to those of you who are consumer debt-free and paying extra towards your house payments. Focus on saving and buying the basic necessities instead.
I know it’s hard to stop paying extra when you’re committed to becoming debt-free. But now is the time to pause extra debt payments. Continue paying the minimum payments, and save the rest in your emergency fund. When everything blows over, you can throw whatever you didn’t use towards your debt.
#2 Focus on the basic necessities
Don’t worry about anything else other than food, shelter, transportation, and basic household items. Luxury or nice to have items should not even enter the picture right now. Resist the endless marketing schemes that will be lurking in your email inbox or your social media feed. Focus on saving as much as you can for the unknown. We don’t know how long this outbreak will last, and how it will affect our finances.
If you find yourself rationalizing unnecessary purchases, unsubscribe to email newsletters and avoid social media as much as possible. Avoid online shopping browsing at all costs. The online options are endless. You most likely will find something you can’t resist at a price you just can’t pass by.
#3 Don’t get caught up in the spending frenzy
Use common sense and only purchase what you need to last for a few weeks. Why tie up your available funds on stockpiled toilet paper that will last for months on end? Make sure to balance your purchases so you have all the food and basic necessities that you can afford.
Don’t use credit cards to stockpile items for months. Don’t let your fear or panic take over. You’ll be stuck with high interest-rate debt in the long run. Buy what you can afford for a few weeks with the money that you have.
#4 Figure out how much money you have on hand
Figure out how much money you have that you can easily get your hands on. Calculate your available checking, savings, and emergency fund balances. Estimate your incoming paychecks for the next month, and add up all of the money you have. You might have more money than you think. Relax and make a plan for the next month. If you need help starting a budget, click here.
#5 Find extra money and save it
Find any extra money that you can think of. Sure, you can look through old purses, your car, or even under your couch cushions. But, I’m talking about forgotten gift cards, store or credit card rewards, or even cash you may have hidden away just for events like this.
If you have any gift cards or reward points, save them. Most of us prefer to redeem them towards fun stuff, but you may need them later. Save the extra cash sources for food, household items, or gas if you need to use them in a bind.
#6 Slash expenses
Slash expenses to its barest bones. Don’t buy anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Cut any memberships or subscriptions that you’re not using. It’s time to get brutally honest with yourself. Do you want to keep paying for a gym membership if you can’t afford to pay rent or buy food? Now is not the time to rationalize any big purchases either. Focus on cutting expenses, not spending more.
#7 Take stock of your pantry and make simple meals
Figure out how much food you have on hand. Write down what you think you may need for a few weeks. Focus on making simple, frugal, and filling meals like pasta dishes, soups, or stews.
Now is not the time to start living out your dreams of becoming a gourmet chef. Just stick to what you know and what your family will eat. Challenge yourself to make easy meals with the least amount of ingredients possible. Why not try making items from scratch? You might already have most of the items on hand.
#8 Gain a minimalist mindset
Gain a minimalist mindset, and use the least amount of products possible. Reduce disposable items like napkins, paper towels, and plastic storage bags. Why not try using more cloth rags rather than paper towels? You don’t have to get rid of paper towels completely, but challenge yourself to use less of them.
Consider cutting up old towels or clothes to use as rags. You’ll be surprised at how you’ve become so accustomed to just reaching for a paper towel when you could have easily used a cloth rag instead. You can also use flour sack towels instead of napkins. It may take getting used to rinsing and washing them but think about all the money you’ll be saving.
#9 Pay your bills timely so you don’t incur late fees
Keep paying your bills on time if you can afford it. You don’t want to be hit with late fees or penalties later. Don’t rationalize that you need to stop paying your bills in order to save. Of course, this only applies if you still have a job and haven’t been affected by the Coronavirus. If you’re out of work, read this article by Dave Ramsey which will walk you through what you should do.
#10 Sell unused or unwanted items
Consider selling any unused or unwanted items online. You’ll have plenty of time to purge and organize your home in the next few weeks. You might find a treasure trove of items that you’re willing to part with. You’ll be surprised at what people will buy.
#11 Use your emergency fund if you need to
Dip into your emergency fund if you need to. If you’ve done all of the following money moves above and still find yourself struggling, dip into your emergency fund. That’s what it’s there for. Don’t use your credit card or rely on loans if you can use your emergency fund instead.
Final Thoughts about Money Moves to Make during the Coronavirus
The Coronavirus pandemic is sending the world into a tailspin. Not only are we scared about our health and loved ones, but we are faced with financial uncertainty as well. Before you panic, understand that you have control over how you handle the situation. Follow these 11 money moves that you should make during the Coronavirus. Gain control over your financial situation. Pause extra debt payments, cut expenses, and focus on the basic necessities. Learn to make simple recipes, adopt a minimalist lifestyle, and sell items if you can. You can face economic uncertainty by doing these 11 proactive money moves. Stay safe, healthy and safeguard your finances at the same time.
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