Financial advice during the Covid 19 pandemic
With the expansion of the stay safer at home mandate until May 31st and the slow, monthly reopening of the state, many are concerned about finances. "You could really find yourself with your back against a wall and having a lot of regret that you wish you would have been more intentional with money before." says Chris Hogan, a financial expert and Ramsey personality. He says it would be easy to push all of your bill payments down the road during this time of financial stress, but that could lead to a high amount of debt in the future. "When you think about all of the student loan payments not being enforced until September 30th or mortgage forbearance being offered. My concern is that if it's out of sight it's out of mind. And it could become a rude wake up call for people whenever that time frame is up." he says. So, if your hours have been cut or you've been laid off, he's recommending you go into conservation mode. "I don't want people speculating, we're talking about your home here. I want you to make a master list of your bills, the account number, the phone number and the dollar amount. That just keeps everything in the front of your mind. Two is to cancel subscriptions and memberships. A lot of people don't realize how much that can add up to. The next tip is, finding a part time job. Find a way to bring in some income. It's so much easier to find a job when you have one." adds Hogan. Hogan then recommends building up an emergency fund. He says that will be a cushion between you and life happening. He says if you really have your back against the wall, reach out to your creditors and get as much information as you can. He says "Contact your mortgage holder, talk to them and understand the program to a T. Know exactly how long it's going to last and what's going to have to be done. Most of these places are just extending the amount of indebtedness, where they are moving the payment for 3 to 6 months to the end." Hogan says that will give people relief, but they will need to be ready for when things go back to normal. For those with a stable job and pay check, Hogan says it's good to buy local and give where you can to support your community.