The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of how we view the world and our finances. While times may seem uncertain, understand that there are several ways you can combat some of the adverse effects that the coronavirus can have on your wallet. Take a second to consider some of these financial health tips as you navigate the best way to protect your future.
Utilize Online Banking Resources
Now is a good time to consider utilizing all of your bank’s online resources. As the recommendations are to stay home as much as possible, limiting trips to the bank can act as a responsible move while also helping you plan out your finances in a more efficient way. Many banks have features available such as depositing checks, making transfers, paying bills, receiving security alerts, accessing budgeting tools, and more. Not only does an online bank cut back on paper waste and provides convenience, but consumers should also remember some of the other benefits. For example, as many will experience tighter budgets as a result of the coronavirus, a perk is that many online banking outlets offer no additional fees—which can help pad saving and provide relief to your wallet during these uncertain times.
With all the safety concerns, right now may not be a good idea to carry cash. But if carrying cash is a preventative measure for overspending, then be sure you are handling it safely as you keep health concerns in mind. Since COVID-19 is easily transferrable, take extra safety precautions to sanitize your money to help prevent the spread of germs.
Organize Your Upcoming Major Purchases
Having to spend large amounts of money during this time may feel scary, but organizing your spending and setting out a plan can take away some of the stress from major purchases. While there are several big purchases throughout your life, reconsider which large expenses can wait and what is worth investing in now.
For example, your son or daughter may be getting ready to start their new life as a college student. Thus, you are considering purchasing a new car, research and take a look at car payment relief programs offered by automakers as incentives to purchase a new car. Similarly, if you are looking to downsize your home, evaluate mortgage rates options as you take those virtual tours. Because of Covid-19 and its economic impact, mortgage rates have gone down. The lower rates might present a great opportunity for your next purchase. Knowing your options and speaking to your personal board of advisors – financial planner, accountant, and realtors in your area can help you protect your financial future and better understand your local real estate market.
Review Your Life Insurance Policy
With all the recent news around the death toll due to the coronavirus, it’s quite natural to review your estate plans. One major item is your life insurance coverage. It can be comforting having a plan that financially protects your loved ones in the advent something happens to you. Review and ensure that your coverage is sufficient to provide for your dependents. Knowing they are taken care of can grant you peace of mind during this trying time. A key factor to understand is that insurance companies cannot change your health classification because of COVID-19; therefore, if you are infected with the disease, your coverage should not be compromised.
Alternatively, if you are applying for life insurance, it is imperative to be transparent about travel plans as well as your current and past medical history. Each company deals with applications during a pandemic differently, therefore utilizing third-party life insurance brokers can help you find the best rate possible for your situation.
Typically, life insurance is recommended for individuals and couples with young children, business owners wanting to protect their business interest, and families who wish to leave a financial legacy. Understanding the difference between the types of life insurance, term and permanent, is also crucial because of the varying coverages and availability to cash values. With your extra time at home, research your options, and have open conversations with anyone you plan to share a policy with and your financial planner.
Review Your Estate Plan
No one wants to think about death or losing a loved one. It is hard because you cherish them and can’t imagine not having them in your life. I truly believe one of the best gifts you can give your family members is knowledge of your wishes. It brings about certainty and peace of mind knowing how to respect your life.
Another part of preparing your loved ones is providing documentation regarding your care if you become incapacitated. That’s why it is in important to have living wills, health directives, and power of attorneys in place. Being prepared doesn’t bring on illness or death any faster. It is just another way to show your family that you care and you don’t want them to worry or stress around how to honor you.
Decide Where You Can Give
Lastly, if you are fortunate enough to have financial stability during this time, consider how you can help others during this time. To begin, look at the people that surround you in your everyday life. One way to support your community is to support local businesses that might be struggling with the social distancing efforts in place. Luckily, there are ways you can support black-owned businesses during the pandemic—including purchasing their products online, leaving good reviews, buying gift cards, or seeing if their services are available virtually. By empowering and helping local businesses, you can help stimulate the community and aid in minimizing the potential financial drawbacks as a result of the pandemic.
Similarly, donating to relief funds or families in need is a great way to give back and provide resources for those in need. Several emergency relief funds have been created in the wake of the situation, and setting aside some money can be a timely way to offer your extra money. People who have been recently laid off, bartenders, restaurant, and food industry workers who are temporarily out of work, and those at high-risk to the virus are a few of the people in your community who could use some financial assistance during these hard times.
Although these times can feel overwhelming and uncertain, combat these feelings by implementing a few of these financial tips to safeguard your finances in the long run.
From mindful spending to giving to others, there are several steps you can take. As the world continues to stay hopeful for a decline in the spread of the virus and fewer lives affected, protect yourself and your finances as you strive for a brighter future ahead.
Tags: African American Finance Blogger, African American Financial Advisor, African American Women, Black Woman Finance Blogger, black woman financial advisor, coronavirus fears, COVID19, Fearless, Inspiration, Scammers, Women Leaders