While President Donald Trump is proposing giving cash payments to most Americans to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it's still a good time to be mindful of finances.
President Donald Trump is proposing to give cash handouts to most Americans to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. But in the meantime, it's wise for all of us to start minding our money even more.
Financial advisor Nora Yousif says to focus on what you can control these days. If you've lost your job, sign up for unemployment.
"Go back and ask if you can get some kind of severance package or if they can keep you on their healthcare," Yousif said.
If you're worried about paying your bills, get on the phone and request a mortgage modification to reduce your monthly expenses.
"For any other debt you have, talk to your lenders and explore options you have, like deferment or extending terms of loans," Yousif explains.
Look into transferring your high-interest credit card balances to a new zero percent interest rate card and budget. Also, revert to a needs only plan for expenses, and get the whole family on board.
"You'll have less temptation than before with social distancing, but you'll have internet access at your fingertips, so avoid online shopping," Yousif said.
And look for the silver lining. You're probably saving money on your commute and some daily expenses. You can cancel memberships that you can't use right now, and look for new job opportunities that are popping up in this situation.
If you're still employed, but feel some job insecurity, start padding your emergency fund now.
"You really want to be taking this seriously, even if you're not out of a job now," Yousif said. "Plan for the worst-case scenario to protect your family and try to bulletproof your family as best as you can."
While accessing your retirement savings may seem like an easy way to handle an emergency, and there are some hardship clauses that allow you to be exempt from early withdrawal penalties which Yousif says should only be a last resort.