Covid-19 has strained the finances of many households in the U.S. Some have experienced a job loss or pay cuts due to reduced hours. During these times it’s important to take control of your finances. Here are a few tips from our team:
Is your budget on track?
Keeping control of your budget is the key to managing your finances. Knowing how much money is coming in and how much is going out will help you stay the course during the remainder of the pandemic. If you have experienced the loss of earnings or a reduction in your weekly or monthly paycheck, now is the time to cut back on the purchase of non-essential items and instead focus your efforts on covering your mortgage and utilities. You could also look for ways to lower fixed costs. Can you switch suppliers to reduce utility fees, for example? Are you using a budgeting app? Our mobile banking app features account inquiry, the transfer of funds between accounts and to external accounts, debit card management, the viewing of check images, transaction history and statements, mobile deposit capture, online bill pay, person to person payments, and My Money Manager, a financial management tool with budget set-up and savings goals.
Healthy spending habits
Ensure you maintain healthy spending habits. As restaurants continue to open and, in time, expand capacity don’t overindulge if you cannot afford to do so. If you’ve been able to save money during the pandemic, great job. If, when taking another look at your spending so far this year, you’ve spent more than you would have liked, now is the time to cut back again.
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of having an emergency fund. Ideally, you should have three-to-six months of living expenses saved. If you don’t, but you can, start saving now. A good way to do this is to take a percentage of your paycheck and put it towards your emergency fund. Once you reach your goal, don’t stop. The more you can save, the better.
Deal with your debt
This is a scary thought if you were already working on debt issues before the pandemic hit and now you’ve lost your job or a steady income to boot. But it is important to stay on top of your debt and pay down what you can on student loans, credit cards, and your mortgage. If you are struggling to make payments, speak with your lenders, keep the lines of communication open, and look for solutions together.
If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at Warren Boynton State Bank. Our team is here to help.