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Financial Preparedness During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Financial Preparedness for COVID-19

 

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Stock Market Crash and Economic Impacts

Even if you don’t get the coronavirus, it can and will have a big financial impact on you and your family. In addition to prevention, you need to be prepared for the potential impact on your finances.

You’ve probably already seen the worldwide impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. The stock market had the worst day since the 2008 financial crash on March 10, 2020, wiping out trillions in wealth.

Even if you don’t have any stocks, Coronavirus-2019’s impact is going to be widespread. Take the closing down of schools, for example. If students aren’t in class, teachers aren’t teaching, janitors aren’t cleaning, and secretaries aren’t taking calls. This means that any hourly wage workers aren’t getting paid.

Coronavirus’s economic danger is exponentially greater than its health risks to the public. If the virus does directly affect your life, it is most likely to be through stopping you going to work, forcing your employer to make you redundant, or bankrupting your business” (Hassan, 2020).

Do you work a job with hourly pay? If so, you need to be prepared to not get a paycheck for at least two weeks, perhaps even longer depending on where you work. Restaurant workers are being hit particularly hard as many people aren’t dining out in order to avoid catching COVID-19. For waiters and waitresses who depend on tips for their income, this can be a devastating blow.

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What Can You Do To Prepare?

If you haven’t started preparing yet, it’s not too late. Here are some things you can do to help prepare in case your income takes a hit.

  1. Ask your workplace what the plans are in case of a quarantine or outbreak. Are you able to work from home? What will happen if the business is closed for two weeks or more? Does your health insurance cover COVID-19 testing? Is there any chance that workers will be laid off? Asking important questions can help you financially plan for the future.
  2. Contact your landlord and see if they can make some concessions on your rent. If you know that you’re going to have financial issues in the near future because of the coronavirus impacting your work, contact your landlord and ask them if there is any way you can either pay your rent next month or when you’ve made the money back. A payment plan might also be amenable (ie. paying 125 percent of the rent in the months after you return to work until the missing month has been covered).
  3. Figure out which of your credit cards has the lowest interest rate. If you know you’re going to have to run up a bit of credit card debt, make sure you’re using the credit card with the lowest interest rate. It’s much better to use that 2.5 percent card rather than that 6.5 percent card in the long run.
  4. Get a temporary side-gig if necessary. If you have to earn money for one reason or another, consider what other temporary jobs you can do until the crises passes. Uber and Lyft are options, as is being a food delivery driver.
  5. Plan your grocery spending carefully. Being short on cash means that you have to plan out what you buy carefully. There’s a reason that the “broke college kid living on ramen” is a stereotype. According to US News Money, some of the cheapest foods you can buy in bulk are:
      • Oats
      • Frozen Vegetables
      • Bananas
      • Spinach
      • Brown Rice
      • Eggs
      • Canned Seafood
      • Chuck Roast
      • Potatoes
      • Ramen
      • Pasta
  6. Determine if you can sell anything that you aren’t using. That smoothie maker that you haven’t used in two years? Yeah, sell that on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You probably have a ton of items around your home that you aren’t using. In a pinch, don’t be afraid to sell those items — even at a discount — and get a little extra cash on-hand.

 

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