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Budgeting tips during COVID-19

14:54 | 01/04/2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus does not only impact people's health, it is also impacting their finances. Knowing how to budget well during this COVID-19 season becomes essential. Below are some helpful tips on how to budget efficiently while coping with the outbreak crisis.    

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As companies experience layoffs and cutbacks due to the virus, financial expert Cesar Sanchez from Midland States Bank says everyone should create a budget now.

"Scale back to the generics. Scale back to that dollar loaf of bread. Do you need the bag of potato chips or do you need the milk?" said Sanchez.

Sanchez says typically you want to have between three and six months of salary saved. For those who don't have that, Sanchez said it's about cutting back on what you don't need like streaming services, tobacco products, and alcohol to make ends meet.

Charissa Anderson with West Bearing Investments agrees that once budget is done, it’s important to look at things you don’t have to have. Bills like rent, food and utilities should stay, she says, but you should work to slowly get rid of non-essential spending.

Sanchez says if you get a check, you should not spend it all at once.

"Use it for the essentials," he said. "If you could set aside just a small amount for a rainy day or an emergency fund for the future, this stimulus package might help you in case this becomes a long-term scenario with what's going on with COVID-19."

Next, if you have credit cards or loans, call your creditor and explain the situation; Anderson says creditors know what is going on and are working with customers. She says now may be the time to see if there is a way to adjust your rate.

Anderson advises making cuts to your budget in increments. She says you’re likely to keep those better spending habits once COVID-19 has passed.

Sanchez also recommends people not panic and take all of their money out of the bank. As long as the money is in the bank, its insured. Once it's out, and if something happens to it like it's stolen or lost in a fire, it's gone forever.

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Candy Lee