The financial fallout from COVID-19 is severe, and there continues to be a lot of uncertainty. While every one of our members’ situations is different, we care about your financial wellness and providing guidance to help safeguard it. Here, we’ve compiled some steps that can help you improve your finances during uncertain times.
1. Refinance debt
During difficult economic times, interest rates are at or near all-time lows, which means you could be paying less interest on your existing debt. If you want to lower your mortgage payment, monthly car loan, or student debt, you may want to explore refinancing. If you have an adjustable rate on your mortgage, refinancing could give you the ability to fix your interest at a lower rate. And if you have a personal loan, car payment or high-interest credit card debt, now could be the right time to refinance too. Set up a complimentary, confidential call at patelco.org/FinancialJourney so we can answer your questions and help you decide.
2. Invest in yourself
Whether you work for yourself or for a company, investing in your skills is one of the best ways to remain gainfully employed. Even Warren Buffet has famously stated that the best investment is in yourself. There are plenty of free and low-cost online classes available, ranging from data analytics to the science of happiness to project management. Completing a course can help boost your skills for your next job or enhance your earning potential at your current job. Additionally, completing something like an online course can increase your self-confidence and sense of accomplishment — which are both invaluable during uncertain times.
3. Move your savings to a high-yield account
While the interest on your savings account is not designed to make you rich, it is one vehicle that will get you on the path to financial wellness. Many savings accounts offer very low interest rates — only pennies over the course of a year. Move your savings to an account that earns a higher yield to make the most of your money. Our Money Market Select account is a great option and highly rated as one of the best returns on the market.
4. Negotiate your bills
Many monthly bills can be negotiated during this time — as service providers would prefer you stay with them for a long time. That’s why many are willing to work with you in order to keep your business. Give them a call or access their online customer service chat to discuss lowering your rates or getting a break on your monthly bill.
5. Start a side gig
There are still ways to earn money, even during a recession. You could teach a skill online, offer virtual bookkeeping, or sell your unwanted household items online. For more ideas, take a look at our article on how to make money from home online.
About the Author
Danetha Doe is the creator of Money & Mimosas, a site dedicated to helping you achieve financial freedom without having to live too frugally. She’s also the star of the Webby Award-winning TV series Going for Broke, produced by Ashton Kutcher, and has been recognized as a personal finance expert by the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. Her work has been featured in Elle, The Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and NBC.