During a crisis, it is difficult to know how to maintain financial security and fight the urge to panic. There are some steps that you can take, however, to make sure you are ready for whatever the future brings.
- Having a rainy day fund is extremely important. If you are able, continue to contribute to your savings and don’t begin using the funds until it is necessary. If you don’t have savings but are still able to work, deposit what you can into a savings account. Additionally, don’t withdraw your savings from the bank unless you need to use the money.
- Use online banking. If you haven’t set up an online account yet, you should be able to find information on how to do it on your financial institution’s website. Most banks offer free online bill pay and you can pay all your bills without having to leave your house.
- Remember that investments in the stock market are for the long haul. It is important to remain calm through the market fluctuations.
- If you have lost your income or are struggling to make ends meet, do your best not to incur lots of debt (i.e., try not to use credit cards, payday loans or other high-cost loans). There are lots of organizations available to help. Reach out to your local churches, food banks, Red Cross, United Way, Department of Human Services, etc.
- Finally, don’t make financial decisions based on panic. If you are feeling anxious and are wanting to make a huge financial decision, try to talk to a financial advisor or someone not emotionally involved first.