Financial survival in the time of COVID-19
When 2020 began, few, if any, of us could have expected that in just weeks our lives would be turned upside down by a mysterious virus that causes a dangerous disease called COVID-19. Now, like the rest of the world, we are facing down a viral threat, not only to our physical health but also to our economic wellbeing. Our ability to survive now and thrive later will depend on how well we take care of ourselves physically and financially.
Keeping yourself healthy and safe is your first priority, but maintaining your financial health during the COVID-19 outbreak is also vital to ensure you stay prepared for whatever happens in the coming weeks. What can you do to protect your finances now and emerge from the pandemic ready to move forward?
- Expect the unexpected. With so many unanswered questions about the disease and the economy, financial experts caution to be more careful than usual with your household finances. Look for ways to cut expenses, even if only temporarily.
- Manage stress appropriately. Resist the temptation to soothe anxiety or boredom by indulging in online retail therapy or a big splurge, such as a new car.
- If you’re still working, consider boosting your emergency fund; if you’re not working, use your emergency fund as you need it, and thank yourself for having the discipline to save for a time like this.
- Seek help when you need it. If the pandemic has affected your income, many lenders, utility companies, landlords and others are willing to help you through this unusual time. Best approach: Proactively reach out for help before you miss payments and damage your credit score.
- If you own a small business, look for help from the Small Business Administration (SBA) through its new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Visit the SBA at www.sba.gov for information, or contact your bank to apply.
- Stay calm. If you are an investor, the current volatile stock market may have you on edge, but investment decisions made out of negative emotions, such as fear and confusion, can actually hurt you financially. Take a deep breath, think about your goals and talk to your financial or wealth advisor for guidance.
- Take care of yourself emotionally. Purposely look for ways, even if they are small, to put some “normal” back in your life.
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Deposit and loan products are offered through Frost Bank, Member FDIC.
Frost does not provide legal or tax advice. Please seek legal or tax advice from legal and/or tax professionals.