If you’re like one third of the world’s population as I write this article, you’re most likely staying indoors to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy due to COVID-19. Besides becoming a master of your streaming digital subscription or DIY home improvement champion, here are a few positive financial tasks you can check off your list with that newly acquired time.
Review Your Expenses
For some, income may be hard to come by as of late, so take the time to review your expenses to see if you can do without them during these slim moments in your life. Cancel that magazine subscription you’ve been putting off. Instead of your morning coffee from that big chain, buy a cheaper cup from a local coffee shop and support small business as the same time. Focus your income draws on the necessities like food, rent/mortgage, and utilities.
Review Your Debts
It is ideal to not carry a revolving debt balance on your credit card, but if you do, consider finding ways to minimize that interest payment each month. Look for 0% interest cards with incentives to transfer that debt to give you time to pay it off without interest. Even with interest rates at low levels, credit card companies are still charging a hefty amount. The same goes for other loans you may have outstanding.
Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage
Mortgage rates are still historically low compared to five, ten or twenty years ago. We could all use a bit more discretionary cash right now. Find a trusted mortgage officer to help guide you through the process of what a refinance looks like, what closing costs you may or may not incur, and how much the refinance would save you on a monthly basis and in the long-run. Other options are now available as well to consolidate a first mortgage and line of credit on your home at a locked in fixed rate.
Update That Resume
Some of us may have been laid off or furloughed during tough times. Updating your resume to begin the search for a different path could create new and exciting opportunities. At the same time, hiring managers are not just looking at your resume anymore. Find some time to go through your personal social media pages for images and statements a new employer might not find as appealing. Remember to be true to yourself, but think twice about posting those pictures from that St. Patrick’s Day party a few years back.
Remember that times may be tough now, but know there is light at the end of the tunnel. The economy comes back and it will before you know it. Ensure you’re saving for retirement, spending less than what you bring home, saving that extra amount for a rainy day (or a few months), and take time for personal self-care every once and awhile.
Derek M Oxford | CFP®️