The last thing you need in times of uncertainty is financial stress. Here are some tips, guidance, goods, resources, and financial assistance programs to help you save and access money, and help you handle some of the financial and emotional challenges that may occur in periods of instability like the COVID-19 outbreak.
Work Up an Action Plan
Your first step is to come up with an action plan to move forward with confidence, starting with these three points:
- Remain calm. Don’t make irrational or short-term financial decisions that can actually do more harm than good. Examples include withdrawing large amounts of cash or selling stock at the bottom of a crash.
- Reduce expenses to a minimum. If you are having trouble making a payment, RMLEFCU understands what law enforcement officers and their families have to go through. We will work with you to the best of our ability to help come up with sensible financial solutions.
- Keep investments for the long term. If you are an investor, don’t check the markets daily and take caution against making decisions on the basis of media headlines. These fluctuations may seem concerning now, but over a longer period of time they will average out.
It’s not often in life that we re-examine our financial expenses. Here are a few practical things you can do to make the best of these times.
- Re-examine your bills. Gather all your bills and find out the amount you need to pay every month for essential expenses. Then prioritize your discretionary expenses and see what you can cut out during hard times… and rethink their necessity when things return to normal.
- Re-examine subscriptions. Subscriptions are easy to stack up and forget about. Our blog has a great guide to help determine which are worth keeping and which you can do without; you can find it at https://rmlefcu-blog.org/cancelyour- subscriptions/
- Create a plan for the future. Think about how to improve the way you spend your money: what are the things you should spend money on that make you and your family happy, and what are the things you spend money on that don’t make you happy? When you consider these things, you’ll be able to build a realistic strategy for healthy financial investment.
Help with Housing Payments and Utilities
If paying rent and utilities are creating a challenge, ask your landlord or utility provider if it is possible to seek an extension on full or partial payment. See if they’re willing to help you get on a payment plan. It never hurts to ask, and they’re most likely amenable to helping out when there is transparent communication.
You can also go to your credit union for assistance in the form of a low rate personal loan or the ability to skip a payment.
Finally, it could be a good time to pick up a side job in an industry that is booming right now, like food delivery or grocery stores, to make a little extra cash.