6 Ways to Manage Your Money COVID Style
- November 18, 2020
Our #NoSpendNovember blog series continues today with a key to financial wellness – knowing how to manage money.
As we get further into the pandemic many of us are trying to determine what our next steps are when it comes to managing our finances.
Many of the short-term relief programs have ended, or are still up for discussion. For many of us, it is a good time to re-examine our options.
Figuring out our family finances is a good step to manage uncertainty. But you don’t have to go it alone. GreenPath has compiled a list of resources to help you get through the rest of 2020, and to set you up for success in the year ahead.
Here are suggestions to manage the financial impact of the pandemic:
1. If you haven’t already, create a budget. Can making a budget make you feel better about life? You might be surprised! One of the most powerful things you can do to relieve uncertainty and financial stress is to take a step back and make a plan. A budget can help you figure out how to meet both your short and long-term financial goals. Managing your expenses is a powerful first step. Think about it like a fitness plan: it’s not about dieting, it’s about getting healthy, staying healthy, and being ready for the life you want!
2. Contact your credit card companies and other creditors. Contact lenders and creditors to request a forbearance or payment deferral. You can also request that your creditors waive late fees or even allow a deferred payment. GreenPath Financial Wellness is available to help you communicate with your creditors or lenders and offer additional financial guidance. Start with a free consultation from someone who has your interests at heart.
3. Check your credit report. The coronavirus’s economic turmoil has prompted a helpful — if temporary — change in the window that Americans have into their credit files. You can now get free copies of your credit report from the three big credit bureaus each week.
That’s an improvement over the one-free-report-a-year quota that prevailed before the pandemic.
Ever wonder how your credit score is calculated? View an informative video to find out.
4. Know your housing options. It’s been about eight months since the pandemic’s onset. The CARES Act provided welcome relief for homeowners experiencing reductions in income or financial hardship. As those forbearances come to an end, we are trying to decide what to do next. When looking at the options available to keep your home (or leave your home), it’s easy to get confused. There are many industry terms to take in, assess, and then decide what’s in your best interest. It’s normal to feel stressed in considering what you want.
An excellent first step is to work through this self-directed learning course.
You might also find it helpful to reach out directly to the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline: 888-995-HOPE(4673). Our counselors have helped thousands of people in similar circumstances identify and weigh their options, and we can help you, too.
5. Look into other special programs that may offer assistance. For example, you may be eligible for veteran benefits or assistance from FEMA or the American Red Cross. Other government and debt relief options are available due to COVID.
6. Talk to us! Remember you are not alone. Our NFCC-certified counselors help you begin a conversation about where you are today as you manage through the emergency, and what you need to accomplish your goals. Whether a debt management plan is right for you, let’s connect. We guide you through a process to assess your financial situation, understand your specific challenges, and create an action plan to work through them.
#NoSpendNovember and Beyond
Check out the entire #NoSpendNovember blog series for useful tips.
In addition, take advantage of online educational tools about finances and money management. From how to start a savings plan, to managing a checking account, we’ve got you covered. Browse online learning resources here.
Check out these useful worksheets and guides to figure out budgeting, housing and other key areas.
Having a national nonprofit resource like GreenPath is critical during a time of challenge. We listen with respect, offer advice and information, and suggest options that could help you meet your needs.
For more assistance, we are here for you.