Tips on Managing your Finances during a Crisis

March 27, 2020

There is a lot on everyone’s minds these days relative to the Coronavirus Pandemic affecting many levels of our daily lives. Words that come to mind and that we hear often are: unprecedented, historic, and disruptive. Our normal daily lives, as we once knew, are now a new set of norms. Some people may have children and family members at home, others are working remotely, while many are on the front lines of this crisis. What continues as a priority throughout this is our focus on finances. It is hard not to have anxiety about the pandemic with all the unknowns, but being prepared with your personal finances can protect you, your family, and your assets during this difficult time. It is helpful to focus on the things we “can” control and not the ones we cannot.
Here are a few general tips to help:

  • Create and use a controlled spending plan (a.k.a a budget). There is no time like now to get a budget up and running!
  • If you have a budget, stick to it! Modify your budget if you anticipate a loss of income. This will immediately give you a picture on financial stability and the ability to pay your bills and/or save.
  • Be mindful of online shopping, especially now where most of us are staying home. Many are over buying products, and shopping online. Be mindful of shipping costs, and delivery fees.
  • Be aware of new scams relative to the Coronavirus.
  • Continue to monitor your credit score!
  • Focus on essential needs versus non‐essential. Most ‘non‐essential’ businesses are closed, so think about saving the money you would normally spend at the movies, nail salon, concert, etc. and put into an Emergency Savings Account.
  • Communicate with your creditors and financial institution. It is important to communicate any issues you are having with keeping up with payments as they may have programs available to help you during this time of crisis. Call your credit union/bank, explain your situation, and be proactive.
  • Use credit wisely, be a smart consumer, and avoid any unnecessary new credit that you know that you cannot afford. Work with your lender to learn about loan options that may be available.
  • The financial services industry is essential to help you work through this time and can assist you to better your situation.

We are here for you at University Credit Union and can work with you if you have any questions or need assistance during this difficult time. Take a deep breath and remember, “We are in this together.”

Lesley Ridge, CCUFC
(Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor)
Campus Branch Manager