The coronavirus outbreak has impacted all spheres of daily living: health, work, social interaction, and money. At times, the amount of information surrounding the pandemic can seem overwhelming. We’re bombarded with guidelines for how to stay well, where to go and not go, when to stay in and when to go out, how to plan our day and how to plan for the worst. Here are a few simple tips that can help you manage your financial planning and day-to-day spending in this time of unprecedented precautions and uncertainty.
1. Ask Your Bank For Help
Many people might be facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. According to Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, “Many banks and credit unions have stated they are willing to offer assistance to people who face temporary financial hardship due to the coronavirus. These might include measures like being able to skip a payment, having temporarily lower rates, getting fees waived or having a credit line increase.” If you’re struggling financially or have financial questions you need help with, call customer service at your bank or credit union and explain, in clear detail, the financial difficulty you’re facing.
2. Use Credit Cards Instead Of Cash
“Though there’s not much evidence to show that touching cash spreads coronavirus, it’s theoretically possible, and the Federal Reserve has been quarantining bank notes from Asia. China also burned some of its currency that had been circulated through the Wuhan area,” says Gonzalez. “Using a credit card’s contactless capability may help give consumers more peace of mind. Plus, credit cards can be used for online purchases, allowing consumers to avoid shopping at crowded stores.”
3. Focus On Adding To Your Savings
Gonzalez notes that, “Most people’s jobs aren’t immune to the coronavirus. So, it’s a good idea to set aside as much money as you can from each paycheck in case coronavirus impacts your ability to work or causes you to have additional medical expenses. Even beyond the current situation, it’s always good to have an emergency fund.”
Take Advantage Of Travel Insurance But Be Aware Of Its Limits Traveling during the coronavirus outbreak comes with enough uncertainty and anxiety; you don’t want to worry about cancellation policies on top of everything else. According to Gonzalez, “If your travel provider cancels a trip because of the coronavirus, a ‘trip cancellation or interruption’ policy might help you get your money back. Some credit cards offer this benefit for free, though issuers have been cutting back in recent years. Keep in mind that if you cancel your own trip out of fear of the virus, your insurance policy probably won’t cover you unless you have coverage for canceling ‘for any reason’ or doctor’s orders to quarantine yourself.”