- Get organized
You can’t make sound decisions about your money if you don’t have a firm grasp on your financial situation. Now’s a good time to gather up all your account statements and financial information and get it organized. Our Money Manager online banking digital tool can help you get all your accounts, balances, payments and more in one easy-to-see place.
Once you do this, you can get a clear picture of how much money you have coming in each month, how much you’re spending, how much you owe and the sum of your monthly payments. If you need to make decisions in the future about where to allocate your money, such as what payments you must make and which ones can wait, having your financial information organized will be very helpful.
- Reduce unnecessary spending
Taking a good look at your spending habits will more than likely highlight some places where you can cut back. Whether it’s online shopping, ordering from restaurants or unused monthly subscription services, reducing spending now isn’t just smart, it can give you a greater sense of control over your money. Creating a budget is always a good idea and can help improve money management, too. Our Money Manager online banking digital tool can help you create a budget and track spending.
- Explore credit options
Is now a good time to refinance your home? Do you have equity built up in your home? Or maybe you already have a home equity line of credit you’re not using? Borrowing money right now might seem a little scary, but rates are low and understanding your available credit resources can be helpful.
- Don’t panic about your retirement savings
Chances are your 401(k) has taken a hit lately. You’re not alone. But unless you’re retiring in the next five to 10 years, you still have time to recover and continue to build your retirement savings. The current situation is very uncertain, but it is also temporary.
It’s never ideal to tap into your retirement savings, but if you find yourself in need of funds, the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Cares) increases the maximum amount you can borrow from your retirement savings penalty- free from $50,000 to $100,000.
- Research assistance programs
If you are concerned you might be furloughed, have your hours reduced or be laid off, it’s best to be prepared. Start researching assistance programs so you’ll know how to apply if the need arises. The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Cares contains substantial increases in unemployment benefits for many U.S. workers. Take some time to find out what you might be eligible for, what the application process is and how long it might take for you to start receiving benefits.
- Connect with your creditors
Most of the country is being affected by this pandemic, and creditors are well aware many of their customers might face economic challenges in the near future. Many are offering special programs designed to help people make it through this time. Find out what your specific creditors are offering. If you can’t find any information about relief programs, contact the companies directly and ask. Even during normal times, creditors are often willing to make special arrangements to help customers through difficult times. If you can make your payments, it’s smart to do so. Regardless of what type of debt it is, you could find yourself facing additional interest or fees if you don’t make your payments on time. Keeping all your accounts as up to date as possible is highly advisable.
If you have questions, please contact your local banking center.