When a pandemic puts the whole world into crisis mode, there are few plans that won’t be affected. Work in particular has been a confusing situation for everyone. How do you handle your finances when you’re not sure what will come next? Whether you’ve been working from home or were laid off, now is the time to get your budget in order.
Saving on gas while you work at home? Put that money toward your essential bills, savings, or investment. If there’s a risk of income disruption, now is not the time to count your gas money as “extra” fun money. Planning for the long-term, now or in any other crisis, is extremely important since we can’t predict how long the situation might last.
Is your work on hold, or you’ve been laid off? There are many resources out there to help you make ends meet right now. You can also find budgeting tutorials and suggestions, such as the budgeting tips we have here. Even with necessities, however, you can reduce your spending. Use coupons on your groceries, reduce your utilities usage to cut down costs, check with your landlord on payment options.
After you have added in any financial assistance (unemployment benefits, tax return, etc.), if your income still doesn’t cover all your expenses, you need to take action. Ideally you would have had an emergency fund ready to be used in this time of need. If you hadn’t been able to build one up before the crisis, try selling unneeded items or getting a part-time job. Make sure to check the state rules if you’re collecting unemployment benefits, so that any side income doesn’t affect your eligibility.
No one is certain about how long this pandemic will last. If you are able to work from home or get a temporary job in the midst of this instability, take care of your finances. This applies even more if you have been laid off – you have the time now to go over your individual or family budget with a fine-tooth comb and make sure you stick to it. No matter the long-term financial impact, spending and saving wisely is the key to making it through.