As schools, restaurants, and other businesses close due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many employees could begin to feel the impact of this unexpected disruption on their paycheck. Town & Country Federal Credit Union is encouraging consumers to review their budget and spending habits to prepare for any financial impact the Coronavirus may have on their finances.
“We are focused on the financial well-being of our members and consumers, and offer some tips to help,” stated Jon Paradise, VP of Public Relations and Communications at TCFCU.
Build Your Emergency Savings
It is important to have an emergency saving set aside to weather unexpected emergencies and avoid falling into debt if you have a disruption in income. If your emergency savings is not quite where you would like it, don’t panic. Here are some ways to help build it up quickly.
· Expecting a tax refund? Plan on adding it to your emergency savings.
· Receiving unexpected money? If you receive a bonus, birthday gift or other refund, be sure to add to your savings.
· Spending less than normal? Spending less on gas, nails, hair, gym membership or eating out? Simply transfer the amount you would be spending on these things to your emergency savings.
· Automate your savings. Figure out how much you want to save each week for your emergency fund. You can set up an automatic transfer right from your payroll or checking account to your emergency savings account.
Assess Your Spending
A change in income requires a change in spending. Now may be the time to analyze your spending habits and make some adjustments to your budget.
· Stocking up on supplies can help us prepare our homes for the unexpected, but over buying will stress your food budget.
· Don’t spend money on unnecessary things. Prioritize your needs over wants.
· Cut back on non-essential spending. Review recent checking account and credit card statements and figure out what you are paying for each month. The cost of subscriptions, magazines, streaming services, gym memberships can add up. If you aren’t using them, now may be the time to cancel and save.
· Now may be a good time to cut the cable cord. You may be able to save money each month by switching to one of the streaming entertainment services.
· Avoid “retail therapy” and shopping online. While it may relieve some of the stress you may be experiencing now, it can leave you with unplanned credit card debt.
Monitor Your Credit Score
· Remember to check your credit score regularly to know where you stand and to keep your score in good shape.
· Make Wise Choices
· The recent ups and downs of the stock market is making a lot of people uneasy. Many employees today have their retirement savings in 401K accounts. Remember, 401K’s are long term savings accounts. Avoid the temptation to dip into these accounts to get by during uncertain financial times.
Financial Coaching Available
Local help is available. Our Call Center staff is beefed up so please reach out if you would like to talk with one of our professionals to discuss any financial questions you might have including loan deferments, waiving fees, etc. Whether you want help reassessing your spending, tweaking your budget, managing your bills or refinancing your debt, we are here to help deal with any “financial bump in the road”. Call us at 207-773-5656 or contact us at email@example.com to connect with a member of our team.
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