If you are lucky enough to have kept your job over the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be wondering how best to manage your money at this time. Like so many people, you might have spent months indoors, canceling vacations, home-schooling the kids and generally staying in (and probably going crazy)! If that scenario sounds familiar, you may have unintentionally saved yourself a lot of money over this period. If you have found yourself saving your money from not going to restaurants, activities, and canceling vacations, don’t throw away this golden opportunity! Here are three tips for quarantine money management:
Paying Off Debt
If you have any unpaid debts, now is the time to pay them. Although this seems like a super boring way of using your extra saved or stimulus money, it will clear your mind and improve your credit score. Debt can come in many forms – mortgages, tuition loans, housing debt or credit card debt, among others. If the COVID-19 pandemic has been favorable to your finances, examine any debt you have and try to pay it as best you can. This will help you start afresh in 2021, debt-free, and ready for the future!
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Planning For The Future
Are you looking to the future and thinking about what you could do when all this is over? Although it seems this pandemic might not have an end-date, so to speak, there will come a time hopefully soon where we can go back to our original freedoms. When this happens, try not to be tempted to blow all your hard-saved quarantine finances on an ultra-luxury vacation or fancy car. If you have managed to save money from being stuck in lockdown, use it wisely. Think about the next five years; what do you want to achieve? What financial goals do you have?
If you are looking to make a large investment such as buying a home, speak with a financial advisor. You may not be investing your money in the most effective way. Finding out the potential your money could have is super exciting and will put you in a good place for the future.
If this time has been particularly kind to you financially, consider sharing the load. Over 40 million Americans lost their jobs in this pandemic, so giving back in any small way would be a great option which shouldn’t affect your finances too dramatically.
How to help out? First, look to your community. Even if not your money, you could donate your time, expertise or clothes, furniture, food, and other resources. These will all help the community you live in to get back on its feet and out of this scary time together. Managing your quarantine budget doesn’t have to just be about yourself; you can share the wealth and raise others up in the process! This way, everyone wins right?