Lifestyle

Protecting your finances during the COVID-19 crisis

Get answers to every financial concern you might have as soon as possible (Shutterstock)

Threats of unemployment and a slacking economy are now a common thanks to COVID-19. Whether you are a contractor or in full-time employment, to be able to stay afloat financially, you need to adopt habits that will help you safeguard your finances.

To help you protect and manage your finances during this difficult time, below we have a few tips you can consider

Follow COVID-19 notification from your financial providers

Money lenders and financial institutions are sending out notices on every new procedure they are adopting due to the pandemic. Likely that your email is being spammed by search notices but it is paramount that you give a listening ear your financial provider.

Follow any updates about their operations and what services they will be adding or removing from their day-to-day operations. At the moment, financial institutions are encouraging their customers to use online and mobile services instead of physically going to the banks.

You, therefore, need to accustom yourself to these new suggestions and while at it remember to get answers to every financial concern you might have as soon as possible.

Avoid panic purchasing

Due to the pandemic, stores have been running out of supplies from time to time due to overbuying. It is likely that you will find yourself considering buying up everything out of fear that they will soon run out.

However, this is counterproductive. In the end, you are not only depriving other needy shoppers of items they need, but you are also racking up your credit card buying so many things that you might not even use at the end of the day.

Take time to build your financial literacy

Instead of swamping yourself with COVID-19 breaking news 24/7, consider improving your financial savvy.

There are several financial resources online offered by reliable organizations, you can take some time to learn how to be smarter about finances and how best to work your budget, for instance.

Know something about smart investing and strategies of managing debt.

Reduce expenses, increase savings

It is dangerous to take up debts during an unstable economy. The last thing you want to be dealing with right now is higher bills and expenditure eating up your budget.

The best way to go about your finances during a pandemic is to free up as much cash as possible and use the same to pad your savings. Carefully review your budget and do away with any expenses that you don’t need and cut back on those that you can.

Reducing your expenses leaves you with more income to save and clear your debts. In the long run, you will not need to endure more credit charges.

Expand your emergency savings

In a normal economy, financial experts recommend having about 3-6 months of bills and regular expenses saved in your emergency kit. This, they advise, helps to weather unforeseen unemployment storms without having to sink into debts. But since it’s technically an economic downturn with very severe financial upsets due to COVID-19, you may need to improve your financial safety. Ideally, you can consider building up your savings up to about 6-12 months of your usual expenses.

Watch out for scams

As the times get harder, we are increasingly stepping out of our ways to assist each other. However, there are those who are taking the opportunity to scam people. You need to watch out for any type of scam and guide yourself from losing your hard earned money.

Do not give out your personal details or your financial information to anyone when you suspect they are targeting you.