Take the time to sit and look over monthly bills and bank statements to get an idea of how much you’re spending. Using real figures based upon your average spending will help differentiate which expenses are fixed and which are flexible. Once you have a better understanding of your money and how it’s spent, try to allocate more funds toward your savings in case there are unforeseen changes to your income. If there’s one thing to be learned from the pandemic, it’s that being prepared for the unexpected is very important.
Remove or reduce flexible expenses.
Some expenses, like house payments and utility bills, are completely fixed, meaning they’re necessary and hardly fluctuate from month to month. Other expenses, however, might have some wiggle room. Cancelling a regular cleaning service or a gym membership, even temporarily, can save you money when you might really need it. Additionally, as therapeutic as retail spending can be on occasion, cutting out unnecessary purchases can make quite a difference for your wallet.
Make a plan for loan payments.
With the country’s current high unemployment rate, the U.S. Department of Education has allowed federal student loan payments to be put on hold through January of 2022. Not having to make a payment on student loans can save hundreds of dollars every month. Additionally, an eviction moratorium has been put in place for those who might otherwise find themselves without a place to live.
Reach out to local resources for help.
In most communities, there are organizations and other groups who are available to provide food, healthcare assistance, and other services for those who need it. Findhelp.org can locate helpful programs in any area with a simple search.
Use online resources for financial guidance.
So many people from all walks of life are searching for relief, and the internet is helpful place to start. There are hundreds of websites that can help anyone live up to their financial potential and offer simple tips for guidance through times of financial uncertainty:
- The Social Security Administration offers guidance for any benefits for which one may qualify.
- The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau can help report fraud and identify financial scams.
- Money Smart, a resource from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, provides many forms of financial education for people of any background.
The burden of financial uncertainty can be a lot to handle, especially with so much else going on in the world to worry about. When it comes to navigating the stress of money, a simple point in the right direction can make a huge difference.