Even as states begin the process of re-opening and beginning what appears to be a long road to normalcy, there are plenty of lessons to be learned for the whole experience of a pandemic. One of the first lessons is that, while rare, a pandemic can come along at any time and upend our normal way of life, at least temporarily, as it is good to be prepared, especially financially. So whether it is fears of a second wave of COVID-19 or just smart caution for an unpredictable future, here are some tips for creating a pandemic-proof budget.
It May Sound Cliché: Savings, Savings, Savings!
It may sound obvious, but having a viable savings account is disturbingly rare. According to a 2019 survey by Bankrate, 21% of Americans weren’t saving any amount of their annual income, while another 20% were saving less than 5% of their income. As much as it can be infuriating to see major industries need instantaneous bailouts in the face of crisis when the average American is told to save, it is financial prudence no less. Having even a modest savings account can be the difference between major stresses and riding out the worst of a pandemic. Even though the federal government has shown a willingness to provide aid, it clearly can take time, and it is never good to count on it.
Establish Your Necessary Expenses
When establishing a budget, it can be good to identify expenses and amounts that are absolutely necessary as opposed to things that can be cut in the face of an emergency, even if you don’t plan on cutting those expenses right now. Identifying necessary expenses can give you a better grasp of how far your savings account will go in the event on an issue. In addition, it can help create a plan as to what actions to take very quickly if concerns arise.
Be Poised to Strike
While pandemics can certainly wreak havoc, in that havoc, opportunities also arise. For instance, during the COVID crisis, mortgage rates have continued to stay at or near historic lows and can make a refinance make total sense. Many lenders, both in credit cards and bigger banks, are offering special offers or programs during these crises. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for whatever programs are currently ongoing. For instance, currently, some credit card issuers have announced they won’t be charging interest. As much as a good budget is about planning, being aware of changes can help your budget in both the short and long term.
With some of these planning tips, you’ll be prepared for any crisis that comes your way and is able to weather the storm as safely as possible. If you have any questions, we have answers! Contact us today!