Photo: Michael Longmire / Unsplash
With the world as scary and confusing as it is right now, it can be tempting to stick your head in the sand and wait for it to all be over. While that would probably be a less stressful way of going about things in the short term, it could really mess you up in the long run, especially when it comes to your finances.
Money struggles present one of the biggest threats to our way of life at the moment, and we’re all going to have to be a bit more careful about how we manage our finances if we want to come out the other side of this mostly intact. So, to make this easier for you, we’ve created these tips for avoiding debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t Fall Behind
Not missing payments may be easier said than done for you at the moment, but the good news is, if you’re only set to be without an income short-term, you can grab one of many easily available fast cash loans to tide you over.
There are, however, two conditions to this being a good idea: the first is that you do your research and make sure you get a loan with low interest and fair repayment terms, and the second is that you know there will be enough money coming in shortly to pay the loan off.
In other words, if you’re waiting to start a new job or for social security to be approved, this could be a good option for you, but if you’re facing an undetermined amount of time with no income, you might want to jump straight to the next step.
Ask For A Payment Plan
Almost all utility providers are offering payment plans at the moment, and they can be a real lifesaver. Call up your water, gas, and electricity companies and see what they can provide in terms of plans and assistance. You won’t get help if you don’t ask, so it’s important to get in touch.
Revisit Your Budget
As enticing as it sounds, binge-watching Netflix isn’t going to get you through this if you’re prioritizing entertainment over things you actually need. It’s time to sit down and go through your budget with a fine-toothed comb, eliminating all expenses that don’t need to be there at the moment.
Will this tactic increase your boredom levels? Possibly. But it might be the difference between spending this lockdown in a comfortable home with all the basic amenities and turning the lights on one morning to discover your power has been cut off.
Do Odd Jobs
The internet is filled with opportunities to get into the gig economy. There are plenty of listings on peer-to-peer task sites, and every dollar counts right now. Plus, you’ll be helping your community and keeping yourself distracted (and you might even get to go outside if someone nearby needs groceries or to have their dog walked). Obviously you’ll need to take the appropriate precautions, but if done safely, odd jobs can be a great way to keep your head above water in these uncertain times.
This situation is new and stressful for everyone, so if you need help, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. These tips are designed to be easily actionable for fast results, but you can also look into avenues such as re-training or upskilling to start bringing money back in. And one last thing, don’t forget to look after your mental health as well – it’s just as important as your physical and financial wellbeing.