The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of change in our lives. With stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, we are unable (for a time) to do the social things we enjoy like eating at a restaurant, taking a weekend getaway, go to movies, shopping, going to a theme park, etc. Instead of going out and being able to do the things we enjoy, we are confined to our homes and cooking for ourselves.
Is it all bad? Since we are not able to go out and spend our money on things we enjoy, it creates some opportunities for us with our finances that may help us in the future. April is Financial Literacy Month. Here are a few financial tips and information to help you during this time…
- Use a budget – Budgeting is always important but is especially important now. With all of the uncertainty, sticking with a budget and not living beyond our means will help us focus on the necessities.
- Establish emergency savings – Everyone needs an emergency savings fund. Since you may not be spending as much money on other things you normally would, take this opportunity to either start or increase your emergency savings. You never know when you will need it.
- Increase retirement savings – With markets down, it is an opportunity to build up investments at a lower cost. Since you cannot spend your money on the things you enjoy, why not invest for your future?
- File your taxes (by July 15) – Normally Tax Day is just a few weeks away. As you know, the Treasury Department and IRS extended the deadline for filing until July 15, 2020. However, if you expect to get a refund you may want to go ahead and file so you can receive the refund. If your refund is not needed for necessities, consider putting it in your emergency fund or towards retirement.
We are all in unchartered waters. With great wisdom, sound financial steps, and God’s help, we can navigate through this time honoring God, taking care of our families, and preparing for the future.