7 Actionable Financial Tips for Managing COVID-19

Take a look at your monthly expenses and find ways to cut back.

Subscription services that you’re being automatically billed and not being used regularly can be halted temporarily. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions, online movie streaming services, monthly subscription boxes – take an inventory of them and cancel.

For mortgage or rent, inform your lender or landlord

Many private and federal lenders are providing mortgage and rent relief options for tenants and homeowners. Informing them of your financial hardship (yes, you have to use that term), they might be able to provide forbearance. Forbearance is when your loan provider temporarily reduces or pauses your mortgage payments. Some property landlords might agree on reducing rents.

Get in touch with your bank

If you’re in trouble making loan and card payments, call them before they call you. It is always better to negotiate due dates or interest rates before defaulting to any of them. It is always best for companies that you’re taking a proactive approach rather than reactive. It may seem counterintuitive, but banks would rather help account holders than their accounts be sold to debt collectors.

Stay away from payday loans

You might be tempted to get a short-term payday loan but these high-interest lenders can trap you in a debt cycle. Their interest rates are commonly disguised as fees ranging from 300% to 500% annual percentage interest rate compared to banks or credit unions’ 10%-25%.

Communicate with your utility providers

Same with bank and your lenders, utility and service providers will be able to adjust their payment scheme if you ask (if they haven’t done so). Many are extending their payment period, suspending the disconnection of overdue accounts or ease their customer’s financial burden by offering deferred payment schemes.

Take advantage of community programs.

Many local government units and nonprofit organizations are conducting various programs to help their community. Feeding programs for the marginalized members, relief packs, and financial aid are given to those financially affected by the pandemic.

Look at job postings.

Despite lockdowns, there are still many businesses thriving. Many companies shift gears on the way they run their business. Papa John’s are hiring 20,000 team members as they continue to deliver meals and offer carryout. Amazon is opening 100,000 fulltime and part-time positions as e-commerce demand spikes.

Be flexible about new opportunities.

With many free times now in our hands, we can use this opportunity to learn a new set of skills or broaden what we already know by taking online trainings and workshops which are now mostly offered free by many institutions. Employees who can make a career pivot and take advantage of new opportunities will fare best at this time.

Bottom line: there are two things we need to focus on right now to manage our finance – one is about looking after our expenses, and the other is about ensuring money still comes in.