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Do’s and Don’ts of Budgeting During a Crisis

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Summary

  • No one knows how long this pandemic will last, so it is important to plan for the long term with regard to your finances.
  • Overview of steps to stay afloat during times of financial uncertainty.

While there is a lot of uncertainty right now regarding how long this pandemic will last and the long-term financial impact, there are steps you can take to help keep you financially stable during this time:

DO DON’T
Do file for unemployment immediately if you’ve experienced reduced or loss of income.  Don’t wait. The number of applications are skyrocketing, which means it may take time to get your money.
Do ask your credit card issuer, bank or lender about temporary relief. Don’t assume you’ll be auto-enrolled into relief programs without inquiring. 
Do consider applying for a temporary job at one of the companies making mass hires right now.  Don’t assume you will be able to immediately return to your previous job as soon as the pandemic settles.
Do ask your landlord, utilities company, and internet provider about suspending service and payment plans.  Don’t assume they will automatically forgive late payments. 
Do prioritize your necessary expenses if you are able to get temporary relief from your providers on monthly bills.   Don’t make unnecessary purchases.  
Do request to increase your credit limit for existing cards or apply for an emergency credit card if you may need access to more credit. Don’t run up further debt that is non-essential to your daily life.
Do plan with the assumption that this situation will be here for an extended period of time. Don’t spend as if it is business as usual, particularly if you are at risk for employment or income disruption.

Maintaining your credit score is also valuable during this time, as it can help you extend your lines of credit if needed during an emergency. Credit Sesame is a free valuable resource to help you monitor your credit and explore credit options during these uncertain times. 

Please let us know if you have any other tips to include in the comments below. And most importantly, please stay safe and healthy.

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