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Can the Pandemic “help” us become more Financially Responsible?

January 15, 2021

We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes, a Global Pandemic. It will be almost one year of being accustomed to this “new normal” of social distancing, wearing masks and working from home. With this Pandemic, most of us have been cooped up in our homes streaming the latest on Netflix and Disney+ while others were getting a lot of items on Amazon.

Some restrictions have cleared in some states, some allow us to go back to the gym where other gyms require an appointment. Here is where we all need to think of how to save extra money during this time of uncertainty.

According to Gallup, COVID-19 is disrupting 30% of Americans’ jobs or finances.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/309299/covid-disrupts-americans-jobs-finances.aspx

Having that said, it is clear that at least 90 million of us Americans are affected financially due to the novel Coronavirus. There are many things that have changed in the way we do things. For example, due to fears of getting sick or due to new restrictions, do you still need your gym membership? How about Netflix? After being home and watching more TV than you could do in three lifetimes, could it be time to cancel your Netflix subscription to save more money and put it in the bank?

A lot of different opportunities to help us financially have resulted from the Pandemic, such as delaying credit card payments. If the Coronavirus pandemic has been affecting you to make your payments in a timely manner, some may have the option to delay payment with minimal drawbacks.

According to CNBC, prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the credit card debt reached an all time high of $930 billion for Americans.

In order to see if you can delay payments, you can try the following:

1. Call your credit card issuer

2. Explain how you are negatively affected by the pandemic

3. Ask for assistance

4. Confirm the terms of your relief program

5. Take note of any effect to your credit score

https://www.cnbc.com/select/how-to-delay-your-credit-card-payment/

Companies like InstaCart, UberEats and DoorDash have subscription services and they give you free deliveries and rewards for shopping with them. This can be more practical, if you find yourself stuck at home and not a cooking aficionado.

There are apps that can keep track of your subscriptions. Now, basically every single cable channel has developed some sort of streaming subscription now such as NBC’s Peacock. Apps such as “Bobby-Track Subscriptions” and “Truebill Budget and Bill Tracker” can help you become more organized and financially responsible.

The Pandemic not only affected jobs, but it also cancelled many vacations and celebrations such as weddings. Since most travel companies issues refunds, and no news of cruise and abroad travelling yet. it will be a nice opportunity to put that money in the bank and save it in case of any financial emergencies.

Another thing to think about is shopping. Shopping for clothes might not be a necessity at this rate. With most of us working from home, or staying home and taking care of kids and family, we might not need to purchase a $40 blouse from Kohl’s or a $50 pair of pants from Macy’s. Since we have no fancy places to go, perhaps now is not the best time to shop for clothes, and save that money until the pandemic is approaching it’s hopeful ending.

Lastly, I know the temptation of shopping online, especially with retailer’s announcing their “Semi-Annual Sales.” However, it is integral that we remain financially responsible by preparing for uncertainty. With a lot of us either unemployed or furloughed, it is a good time to start thinking of ways to keep everything in control.

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