Managing Your Finances During the Coronavirus

Everyone knows it’s not a great idea to have a lot of debt. However, in unprecedented times like these, even the best ‘savers’ are having a hard time keeping their debt in check.

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the entire world. Nothing like this has ever happened in modern life. Businesses have shut down and workers have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs. On April 2, the Labor Department reported 6.6 million people filed for unemployment the week prior — bringing the total to 10 million in just two weeks. Total unemployment claims have now topped 30 million!

If you are in a tough spot and find yourself accumulating debt, don’t beat yourself up right now. These are crazy times and no one can say they were truly prepared.

In the short term, it may be OK to carry debt if you’re other options are limited. You can also take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone.

A recent survey found that 59% of credit card holders entered the coronavirus pandemic with credit card debt. Most of them had been carrying the debt for over a year.

That said, you should try to manage your bills the best you can so that you can recover once the pandemic has passed. Cut costs now, so you can get out of debt faster down the road.

Make a list. First, make a list of your current debt in order of the most important to least. Your mortgage may be at the top of the list, while credit cards and medical expenses may be a bit farther down.

It’s important to get an accurate picture of what debt you have, the interest rate of each debt and then devise a game plan on how you are going to attack those different debts. Like anything else, if you stay on top of it now, you’ll be better off later. Hang in there!