Managing Finances During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only causing fear and uncertainty about our health, but our livelihood as well. Many wonder “What happens to me and my family if my employer has to lay off people or my hours are cut?”
Now more than ever, it is important to keep track of your expenses to make sure you are not spending more than you make or increasing your credit card debt. If you feel like you live paycheck to paycheck, then now is the time to take a hard look at your expenses, see where you can adjust, and take firm control.
To get control, you need to know exactly what you are dealing with – how much money is coming in each month and how much is going out. To get a clear picture, create a budget. A budget will tell you if you are setting aside enough money for the essentials (rent, utilities, food) and how much is being eaten up by non-essentials (like concerts, eating out, cable, or gym membership). If money is tight, cancel non-essential subscription services temporarily. You can always restart them when things get better.
The silver lining of this pandemic is that since most of us are practicing social distancing to minimize contagion, you may already be saving money by not going out.
If your credit card debt is high on store cards or cards with other financial institutions, transfer your balance to TXDPSCU’s low, fixed rate credit card with rates as starting as low as 7.99% apr.* This may lower your monthly payment allowing for breathing room in your budget.
Another important task is to beef up your emergency savings or start an emergency savings account if you have not done so. Ideally, you want to save at least 3 months of your take-home pay. You can start with as little as $5 a week. Simply save $5 consistently each week and when you think you can add a little more, increase your deposit. To make this easier, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account.
Texas DPS Credit Union is committed to providing support to you, our member, through every step of your financial journey, even in times of uncertainty. If you are experiencing a financial hardship, we are here to help.