Financial security and success is about capitalizing on opportunities as they arise. When we get a raise at work, for example, we can add more to the monthly savings plan that puts us in a stronger position later.
In this tough period of quarantine, we can use the newfound slowness of the day to make time for financial tasks and goals we didn’t have time for before.
This could be anything from creating a budget or making a new effort to pay down high-interest debt, to (finally) filing your taxes or switching from a high-fee checking account at a traditional bank to one with our credit union.
However you spend your time, do it with openness toward the things that can really serve you later. To help you do just that, check out our three top tips to stay financially secure during quarantine:
1. Reassess your budget
It’s never not a good time to review your budget and stay aware of your spending habits. But during this time in quarantine, use it to look hard at what you spend your money on. What gets revealed could surprise you––in a good way!
Maybe you see higher costs in travel, meals out, and extra clothing––categories that are no longer a priority. When we are stuck at home or have tight limits on our movement, it’s a chance to take the money from previous spending habits and move it to something else.
With the economy as a top concern, now might be a good time to use that money toward high-interest debt, an extra mortgage payment, or working to pay off your car. Whatever you choose, now is the perfect time to become aware and in control of your spending.
2. Build your emergency fund
It may sound counterintuitive to save for an emergency when we are in the midst of one, but starting or continuing to maintain an emergency fund during quarantine is a smart move.
Even if you’ve experienced job loss, make an effort to save just a few dollars each week or month. A little bit can add up over time, and it creates the habit of setting aside money now, so that when you are no longer under- or unemployed it will be easier to continue the habit at a more aggressive rate.
If you are still working, use the money you would normally have earmarked for dinners out and entertainment for your fund. Take this time to enjoy the lower-cost at-home entertainment––like streaming services or a new book, and tuck the extra cash into a fund for when you might really need it.
3. Check your credit report
With more downtime on your hands in quarantine, go ahead and knock out a periodic credit report review! Perhaps not the most fun activity, but it has to be done for your own security––and you’ll be glad you did it.
Financial security is all about consistency. Credit reports give you the big picture information, and reveal ways you can start to save and spend better. The more informed you are, the more likely you are to stay that way.
So, review that big financial report card now. It can only empower you going forward, especially as we emerge from the quarantine period and resume new spending habits.
Always remember that Xceed is here to help you in all of the important financial habits and decisions you make. We’re here anytime you’d like to schedule an appointment with a Financial Advisor at the Xceed Wealth Management group, or you can take a look online at our Financial Wellness Center for even more tips.