The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread and is now considered a pandemic. People are scrambling to gather essentials for their homes and are on high alert, wondering how this situation will continue to evolve and what effects it will have on the economy in the coming months. Unfortunately, it’s unpredictable how exactly everything will pan out but one thing’s for sure, is it is wise to prepare. Here are 5 tips to help you cope:
1. Contact your creditors as soon as possible
If you anticipate the inability to make your monthly credit card payments, it’s important to open that line of communication. Ask for temporary hardship concessions like interest-only payments or forbearance.
2. Keep priority obligations on track
First and foremost, it’s important to pay your rent or mortgage. If you experience loss of job or income, be sure to maintain open communication with your creditor or landlord.
3. Develop an emergency spending budget
This is a leaner much stricter version of your budget. Pause all “fun budget categories” anything that is more of a want than a need. Set a realistic budget for utilities and food expenses. Make a list of all your current obligations. Circle the things that are wants so you can see how much you could realistically save if you pause subscriptions, limit travel and make affordable meals at home.
4. Identify community resources and if there are any government assistance programs available
Check tfsnc.org/community-resources for updates. Government officials are still working through what options and if there will be opportunities for health care reimbursement established in the coming days. Community agencies may help with food banks, temporary assistance with utilities, etc.
5. Reach out to a financial counselor to find ways to eliminate debt and reduce financial obligations
Debt is often the roadblock that keeps people from being able to establish financial stability. According to CNBC, the biggest hurdle that is causing people to live paycheck to paycheck and preventing them from building an emergency savings fund is debt. Our Certified Financial Counselor is available to assist:
TFS Consumer Credit Counseling Coordinator
919.821.0790 x122 or firstname.lastname@example.org