How to Show Love to Your Budget Right Now
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Although we are all experiencing the economic fallout of COVID-19, we are not all experiencing its effects the same way. To echo an unknown author featured in the Brunswick Times Gazette, we are all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. Some of us are struggling to make ends meet in a season of layoffs and potential bankruptcy. Others are relying on emergency savings we thought we’d never have to touch. Still, others are financially faring much the same as we were before the pandemic.
With talk of a second round of stimulus money surfacing, we are all wondering how to make the best of the state and federal funds we might receive. No matter what boat you’re in or how fairly it’s floating, First Bank is here to share a few tips on budgeting in the age of COVID-19.
1. Make a prioritized list of all your expenses.
If you haven’t done so already, write down all your expenses. All of them, from mortgage and utilities to groceries and gas. Prioritize your expenses in order of most essential to least essential, then comb through your checking and savings accounts to make sure you can cover these expenses. Any government funds you receive should go to essential expenses first.
2. Check with lenders, utility companies, and landlords to see what you do (or don’t) owe.
As you know, COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation. Many mortgage lenders, utility companies, and landlords are offering delayed payments for otherwise urgent expenses. Check with your lenders, power and water providers, and landlords to see what is financially expected of you in these unprecedented times. Remember, if you can pay your mortgage, rent, and utilities on time, you should. Otherwise, those expenses may catch up with you and hinder you in the future.
3. Treat yourself…responsibly!
If you have made all essential payments and have stuck to your new pandemic budget, then, by all means, you deserve to treat yourself! Before you splurge on that new TV or that high-end soda machine, though, set a 24-hour limit for all impulse purchases. From the moment you decide you want to buy something, allow yourself to consider that decision for 24 hours. After a full day has passed, ask yourself if you are still excited about that purchase and if that purchase would truly improve your life or the lives of those you love. Use your stimulus funds wisely, even when you are ‘splurging!’
Your Bank About Town wants you to know that, since 1895, we’ve seen the American economy and the American worker suffer and prosper. We’ve made it through everything history has thrown at us, and you will, too. We’re in this storm together, and First Bank is here to help you get your finances in ship shape.