These are the Times that Test Men's Wallets!
These are the Times that Test Women's Purses!
In a time of crises like this, it is all important that you have an awareness of or “situational awareness” of your money? How much cash do you have? Where is it located?
Let’s begin Money Triage.
1) Take an inventory of your cash. Check your savings and checking accounts. Do you have savings accounts on direct deposit to eliminate bank fees? Sometimes you forget these accounts. Take an inventory of any certificate of deposits you may have. It is less expensive in the long run to cash these in for an emergency, than to borrow money. Regardless, add these up to determine your total cash position.
2) This is the time to use some of your emergency fund cash. Don’t have an emergency fund? When the crises is over, I hope you create one.
3) To preserve cash, stop spending on unnecessary items. Eating out is one of the most expensive way to eat and is a budget buster. All restaurants have moved to a take out model. Take advantage of meal deals, but only for special occasions!
4) Manage your automatic payments from your checking account. If you may lose your job or see a significant reduction in income, you may need to switch to manual payments to have better control of your cash. Prioritize your expenses.
e. Unsecured Debt
If you will have difficulty paying any of your bills, you should reach out to your lenders in advance. This is not the time to stick your head in the sand. I know it is difficult to talk to a lender about your inability to pay, but you must be brave and reach out. Ask for interest rate reductions on your credit card. Ask for forbearance on unsecured debt. Take advantage of the student loan holiday. You can stop paying them for the next 60 days!
5) File your tax return now if you have refund. Delay filing until the new extended deadline of July 15, if you owe the IRS.
6) Spend your Federal stimulus bonus wisely!!!
7) Finally, stay positive. The whole World is in this thing together. You are not alone. When the corona virus crises is over, we may want to remind ourselves why less debt is better!
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