Coronavirus Outbreak Financial Tips
In light of the coronavirus that is sweeping across the globe and the economic implications thereof, I wanted to share some coronavirus outbreak financial tips to help you weather the financial storm brought about by COVID-19. As a money coach, I support my clients by encouraging them to track their income/expenses, and holding them accountable to their financial goals. But, in challenging times, my experience in working with people with all kinds of income streams, and my previous experience as an accountant and financial advisor, can help in situations where tough financial decisions need to be made. Below is some information that could be helpful if you run into a financial cash crunch because of this financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Skip a Payment
First, let’s cover some expenses you can typically discontinue paying for a month or so (or place on hold) without penalty. I recommend you reach out to the company to confirm this (if necessary).
- Utility bill (In San Diego, where I live, SDG&E has suspended service disconnections for nonpayment)
- Cable/Internet bill
- Cell phone bill (US carriers are forgiving late payments and keeping customers connected)
- Gym membership (LA Fitness is suspending billing until they reopen)
Request a Waiver
Here are some areas I don’t recommend you stop paying unless you specifically request a waiver:
- Mortgage/Rent (many banks are now offering relief to customers affected by COVID-19)
- Auto payments (many banks are now offering relief to customers affected by COVID-19)
- Credit card payments (many credit card issuers are offering relief to customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic)
- Insurance (many insurance companies are now offering extended payment grace periods)
In terms of spending, here are some areas that I expect will increase during these times:
- Groceries and Home Supplies (not only are we stockpiling right now, but we are also eating at home more because of social distancing)
- Utilities (most of us are spending more time at home now, so we are using more energy)
- Babysitter (if you actually have someone who can watch your kids!)
Fortunately, I believe you are likely to see a decrease in spending in the following areas:
- Dining Out
- Entertainment (except for movie rentals or new streaming services)
- Auto expenses (i.e. gas, parking, tolls)
- Sports Activities
- Kids Activities
- Personal Care (i.e. haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, etc.)
- Daycare (since most are now closed)
Additionally, here is an article that has some additional coronavirus outbreak financial tips: https://money.yahoo.com/coronavirus-cash-crunch-no-emergency-fund-210627748.html.
Bottom line, you’ll probably be spending less, not more, during this time. However, I recognize your income may be affected, which can be very stressful. Here are some resources that can potentially help if your income has changed or will change due to new circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak:
- If you lost your job, here is the link to file for unemployment in California: https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/.
- You may qualify for benefits through your employer via the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- If you are a business owner in need of cash, the SBA is offering loans at 3.75%. Here is the link to apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
For those of you reading this who are current clients, you already have a good understating of your financial situation. During your next few coaching sessions, you’ll be able to fully understand how this has affected your finances, and you can work with your money coach to determine the next steps. If you are not a Dr. Budgets client, we are still offering complimentary consultations via Zoom. Additionally, you can click here to download our FREE ebook (10 Ways to Save $10K) if you haven’t done so already.
Please share your own coronavirus outbreak financial tips and let us know what you have done to weather the financial storm from COVID-19 in the comments section below.