The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth incredibly trying times that none of us could have foreseen. As of late July, 32 million Americans have received unemployment benefits due to the pandemic. This relief has helped many maintain their lifestyle during the pandemic, but these benefits have recently been reduced. The question for countless Americans is, “What steps should I take to weather this storm?” Here are a few tips to manage your budget:
- Establish an emergency savings fund: One of the biggest lessons this pandemic has taught us is to be prepared for the worst. We suggest maintaining 3-6 month’s worth of living expenses in a stable money market or savings account.
- Conduct a personal financial audit: Carefully review your finances and your assets and liabilities. This may sound like a daunting task, but your road to a more comfortable financial situation can’t start until you understand your current situation. A professional can be invaluable to help you navigate through this process.
- Limit nonessential spending: The shutdown in March forced us to face a whole new set of issues including the evaluation of our discretionary spending. This is especially difficult as discretionary spending is the money we use to participate in activities that make us feel good. Find activities that makes us feel better with little expense. Hiking, swimming or reading are a few examples.
- Create a budget: Create a plan that you monitor on a monthly basis. Make it a challenge to stay within your budget. Reward yourself and loved ones if you succeed!
- Invest if you can: If you find yourself with excess cash right now, have a chat with your financial advisor and discuss some investment options.
- Frequently shop online money markets: Money market rates are updated every day, so you want to check your rates monthly to maximize your interest rates on your savings.
We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this time. When this pandemic ends we will look back at the lessons we have learned that have made us stronger and more financially secure in the future. For every dark night there’s a brighter day! Please reach out to us with any financial questions or help to manage your budget. We’re here to help!
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