Having to protect your finances through COVID-19 can prove difficult when many companies are laying off employees. Financial difficulties are just one more thing to worry about when dealing with a pandemic of this proportion. Not only is the coronavirus a health crisis, but it is also a financial crisis.
The good news is that Debt.ca can help you maintain your financial health during this difficult time. The people of Canada must not allow the coronavirus pandemic to bring them down. Whether you’re facing high interest rates or struggling with mortgage payments there are ways you can protect your finances through COVID-19.
Short-term COVID-19 money tips
Many workers continue to work from home on a limited basis, while others have no income to lean on due to layoffs.
Review Your Budget
Now is the time to review your budget from top to bottom. Identify which expenses you can cut and do so immediately. Saving money on non-essential services and products is critical to your financial longevity.
Make sure your budget can accommodate your fixed costs, such as groceries, rent, and utilities.
Check your mail and emails from your creditors.
If you have credit debt, mortgage payments, student loans, or some other debt, you’ve likely received notifications from your creditors. Review their policies on forbearance or deferment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact them if you need the relief they are offering.
File for Employment Insurance and Learn About the Economic Response Plan
For individuals who lost their job, file for Unemployment Insurance. The Department for Employment and Social Benefits has made adjustments.
The federal government also has the Economic Response Plan in place. There is help for people who are:
- Individuals or families
- Facing unemployment
- Sick and in quarantine
- Unable to work
- Senior citizens
- Owners of small businesses
Please visit the appropriate websites to review the support they offer and see if you qualify.
Do not participate in Panic Buying
Avoid the mob encircling the toilet paper aisle and purchase only what your family needs. Buying more than you need costs more and leaves little for others. Trust that the supplies you need will be available.
There’s no telling how long social distancing and all the other current practices will last.
Avoid using Credit Cards
Unless you absolutely must, avoid taking on more credit card debt. While some may consider personal finance health to be secondary in a pandemic, you must do everything in your power to limit credit use.
Instead, tap into your emergency savings.
Avoid Skipping Payments
We advise you to maintain your payment schedule as best as you can. If you have to skip out of necessity, call your creditors and sign up for their forbearance or deferment programs mentioned above.
Leave Your Retirements Savings Alone
It can be tempting to use your retirement funds, but we suggest keeping them where they are. If you are concerned about losing money in the stock markets, they historically come back after an economic downturn.
If you want your funds to spend on supplies, seek other options first. There are many local organizations providing support with bills, groceries, and more.
Consume Less and Save more
This goes for utilities, services, and expenses in general. Actively seek ways to minimize:
- Heating and cooling costs
- Grocery spending
- Use of electricity
- Other essential supplies and services
Wherever you save money, put it towards your emergency fund. Look for ways to increase your income, such as through temporary work-from-home opportunities.
If you are currently having trouble with managing your funds, call us today. We can help determine whether you would benefit from credit counselling, a debt management program, or some other form of debt relief.