The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted the lives of millions as self-isolation has become a brief normal. With students and most people working from home, many folks have also seen a vast change in their finances.
We’ve already seen shocks to the economy because of the Coronavirus pandemic and with increasing levels of uncertainty, understandably you may be worried about your finances.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, don’t panic. To help prepare for the financial uncertainty that many of us are facing, here are some money moves you can make now to protect your finances and build up a rainy day fund.
Pull Back the Spending
When you suddenly have little to no income, one of the best ways to save money is to cut costs. Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to determine where, exactly, all your money is going.
Take a close look at all your outgoings and cut back on any non-essential spending. Even if you are currently working and getting paid, put some money aside for that emergency fund. One idea is to put any money you’re saving from limited travelling, eating out and other events.
Start by mapping out all your current expenses then dividing them into different categories. From there, you can eliminate any costs that aren’t essential right now. You may find you’re already spending less than you were a month or two ago, since you’re probably not dining out at restaurants, going to the movies, or planning any expensive trips anytime soon. But you might also discover you’re still spending money on nonessential costs like a gym membership or subscription services you don’t use, and cutting those can help you save some cash.
Once you’ve cut all non-critical costs, do your best to keep your expenses down. Take advantage of coupons and discounts, and focus on buying non-perishables that you won’t need to throw out in a few days or a week if you don’t eat them.
Enhance the Emergency Fund
It’s uncertain when Americans will be able to go back to business as usual, and there’s a chance the economy could slip into a recession. So it’s a good idea to build a solid emergency fund to last you through the next few weeks or months. The question, then, is how do you establish an emergency fund when we’re already in the middle of an emergency?
If you find yourself out of a job or taking unpaid leave for an unknown period, then the bigger your emergency fund the better! Ideally, your emergency fund should be worth at least 6 months of your expenses, but you may want to increase it to 12 months in these times to be in line with your requirements and responsibilities.
Your emergency fund will come to your rescue if there’s any loss of income in the near future arising out of this pandemic. Also, there’s some confusion about health insurance policies covering pandemic treatment. If your insurer refuses to cover a Coronavirus-related treatment as it has now been declared a pandemic, your emergency fund will be something to fall back on. Lastly, having in place an adequate contingency fund will minimize your dependence on borrowed funds during a difficult situation.
Assistance with Bills
If you’ve reduced your costs as much as possible and you’re still having trouble paying your bills, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many organizations are offering assistance to those who are experiencing economic hardship right now. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that it will be suspending all evictions and foreclosures for the next 60 days, but it’s still a good idea to talk to your landlord or lender if you’re having trouble paying your rent or mortgage.
Similarly, if you’re struggling to pay your credit card bills, utilities, or other loan repayments, reach out to these creditors to see if they can help. Not all organizations are offering financial relief, but like TLC Loans, many are willing to work with their customers — and you never know what’s available until you ask.
Get the Right Personal Loan
If you don’t have money in savings, then you may need to borrow some for a while to keep up with your expenses. If that’s the case, applying for a personal loan or new credit card could be a good idea. That way, you get a little extra leeway at a time when finding a new job may not be feasible.
There are plenty of places to get a personal loan. You want to make sure that you choose the right personal loan for your needs and choose the right lender. Your credit score will tell you whether or not you’ll qualify for some personal loans and how much you’ll get. You’ll also know what interest rate you’ll pay. You also want to see how much you’ll need to bridge the gap.
Personal loans can be as small as $500 or as large as $100,000 (at TLC, we provide loans from $750 – $5,000) and are a great way to consolidate any debt you currently have. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be able to receive a lower interest rate through debt consolidation than you are currently paying on your debt, saving you money on monthly payments and overall interest.
Finally, don’t be tempted by Payday loans! Why? The principle for a payday loan is a portion of your paycheck. These loans charge extremely high-interest for immediate short-term credit, as the finance charge can range from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of between 400% and 5,000%.
These are uncertain times, and millions of Americans have had their lives disrupted due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While it can be difficult to keep a clear head in this situation, it’s important to stay calm and be strategic about managing your finances. By taking a few steps to keep your costs in check and save more, you can make sure you’re as prepared as possible to tackle any obstacle life throws your way.
Personal Loans from TLC
If you’re looking for a reliable loan company during these uncertain times, TLC Loans has your back.
TLC Loans is a consumer installment lender offering a personal loan online in the states of Illinois, Missouri, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin. We specialize in helping people seeking a personal loan who are turned away by traditional banks. Get a personal loan today from Total Loan Company, LLC because an installment loan is better than a payday loan.
TLC Loans is a highly rated lender and the TLC team has a long history of working in the consumer finance industry. Most of all we understand the challenges facing our customers and their families. We know there are times where you may need an installment loan to get you through a tough financial time.
TLC is here to help:
Apply for your personal loan here.
See rates in your state here.
Check out our FAQ page here.
Call us here on 855-222-0209.
Email us here.