Hey everyone, these are interesting times. People are being asked to stay home, the stock market is full of volatility, employment is uncertain, and everyone is unsure of what will happen next. Being quarantined because of the Coronavirus outbreak has certainly thrown us for a loop, but we’re tough, and we’ll get through this together.
In this post, I'm going to go over how to manage your finances during a quarantine.
The most important thing you can do during the Coronavirus pandemic quarantine is to remain calm. There are a lot of unknowns, and the news seems to change by the minute. The stock market is volatile, schools and restaurants are being ordered to close, and many jobs are sending employees home.
With everything going on, you might feel anxious or even panic-stricken. As someone who has suffered from anxiety their entire life, I can tell you personally, doing your best to remain calm will help everyone get through this situation together.
Remember to tell yourself that the pandemic will not continue in the long term.
Cut Back On Regular Expenses
When you're looking to manage your finances during the quarantine, now’s the time to cut back on your monthly living expenses. This includes canceling unnecessary subscriptions.
If you’re not sure where you’ve been spending money, go through your bank statements and credit card statements and find all of your reoccurring expenses. If you’re not using something or don’t need it for the next few months, cancel it.
While you’re indoors, you might be more apt to watch Netflix, Hulu, or other similar streaming services. Those may be subscriptions that you don’t cut back on, but things like the gym, magazines, or other in-person services that have a subscription for.
If you’re having trouble paying certain bills, such as your internet bill, call up your provider and try to work with them. Many companies are offering temporary relief while the quarantine continues, and I suspect more companies will join in as the days pass. Read this article for more information about how to lower your monthly living expenses.
Maximize Your Savings
If you don’t need to buy something right now, don’t. Put the money into your savings account. If you don’t have an emergency fund or if your emergency fund is hurting, now’s the time to put as much money as you can into it. You can open an emergency fund with an online bank such as CIT Bank and earn a bonus on your first deposit.
The extra money you save today might help down the road if the quarantine lasts longer than anticipated. Save money wisely.
Learn to save $5 a day at the very least. Set a goal and stick to it. If you've received a stimulus check, learn about smart ways you can use it.
Related Post: How Saving $5 A Day Can Make All The Difference
Have A Spending Freeze
After you’ve gone grocery shopping and stocked up on food and supplies, consider having a spending freeze if you need to. A spending freeze will stop all expenditures for as long as you can manage. Stop purchasing everything for a few days. Practice social distancing by staying home and enjoy time with household members or via text or online.
When managing your finances during a quarantine, the key thing is to spend as little as possible; especially if your income has been negatively impacted.
Related Post: 12 Low-Cost Activities To Do While At Home
If you’re still working and/or receiving a paycheck, continue to invest regularly, but only after your emergency fund is sufficient. The stock market is on a rollercoaster right now, and I doubt anyone can truly time it, but it will recover down the road.
Eventually, the market will bottom out, the quarantine will end, and the market will go back up. By buying in incrementally now, you increase your chances of locking in great discounts so that when the market recovers, your retirement fund will grow well with it.
Rethink Your Travel Plans
If you’re traveling in the near future, you may want to consider rescheduling. As each day passes, more restrictive travel conditions occur. Airlines are beginning to refund and/or credit tickets, as are hotels with reservations.
Instead of traveling, consider staying inside and around your property with your immediate household members.
Inside and around your property, go for a walk, ride your bike, hang out in your yard. There’s still plenty you can do around the immediate vicinity that doesn’t require travel.
Learn A New Skill
While you’re at home, consider learning a new skill. There are many free courses you can take online, or you can sign up for e-learning sites such as Udemy, Skillshare, or LinkedIn Learning. These sites are great for learning a new skill or refining an existing one.
If you’re into DIY, support bloggers and YouTubers and get down and dirty learning more about something that really gets you going. This is the perfect time to hang out at home and refine your DIY skills. My wife loves to crochet, and she is spending this time working on a blanket.
Get Food And Supplies Delivered
While home, get food and supplies delivered if it's an option. It might cost a little more but it's safer than going to the grocery store. Some service providers are offering a no-contact delivery, allowing you to communicate through text. See if you can get groceries delivered in your area, such as through a service like Shipt.
Shop online for supplies and other necessities during this time. Remember to order sooner than later because it may be several days before you can get what you’re looking for. Shop around at local businesses as well as they might have stock where big retailers might not. Supporting local businesses during these hard times will help everyone out in the long run.
Look Into Work-From-Home Opportunities
While stuck at home in the short term, you could learn to make extra money online. This could turn into a permanent side hustle once the quarantine ends.
Related Post: 10 Brilliant Ways To Make Money Online.
Swagbucks is an option if you're stuck at home and can't find work. You'll be tasked with filling out online surveys. You can generally make around $3 per hour, which isn't much, but if you're currently making $0 right now, then 2 hours of Swagbucks a day, every day, could net you around $180 after a month.
I wouldn't sneeze away $180 when I was making nothing. Would you?
Wrapping It Up
These are uncertain times and often a bit scary. But we’ll get through this together as one, and we’ll all be stronger because of it. Stay at home and spend time with family members. Keep in touch on social media but be cautious about reading every article that pops up about COVID-19.
Related Post: 12 Low-Cost Activities To Do At Home
If you live in the US, then qualifying individuals will be receiving $1200 plus $500 per child from the upcoming stimulus check. Keep an eye on your finances, but most of all, don’t panic.