Financial Considerations To Make During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely drained everyone emotionally, physically, and financially. The economies are shutting down while supply and demand have fluctuated at an unprecedented rate. Governments across the globe are trying to develop solutions to flatten the infection curve.

Although circumstances vary in severity from person to person, state to state, and nation to nation, it is vital to be practical when it comes to your money, or what you have left. Consider all the tips below to stay afloat.

Choose Grocery Shopping Over Drive-thru Or Take-out

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Food is commonly the most substantial expense of every household. Something positive to gain from the restrictions enforced due to the pandemic is the limitation on eating out. Most restaurants only fulfill orders for drive-thru or take-out, giving you more incentive to prepare your food and dine at home.

Prepare a list of grocery items to purchase. Be mindful of the essentials. Consider a few snacks or favorite food items for each member of the family. Do not hoard goods and be respectful of the protocols observed in the establishment.

Take Stock Of Your Entire Financial Assets

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Checking your finances is a tedious task. It is something that many people place at the back of their minds on a typical day. The days are no longer ordinary. Several are getting cut from their work or are experiencing massive reductions in salary or income potential. Now is the time to get serious with how many comes in and goes out. 

Make a list of your household’s sources of income (your full-time job, sideline gig, or business). Next, take note of all the assets you own, including your house and lot, savings accounts, investments, and insurance. Analyze all of the information you have collected and check where you are vulnerable and try to improve on income sources that can increase.

Have Your Bills In Order

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Netflix and chill? Probably not anymore. Monthly payments hinder your capacity to be financially capable of handling unforeseen circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Online subscriptions, game memberships, and even the essentials like power and water weigh heavily on your wallet.  

First, rank all the bills you have by their necessity. Next, slash all of the unnecessary subscriptions and those services with monthly payments that you can live without.

If you absolutely cannot cancel your bill due to the contract, consider requesting an extension of payment until after the pandemic is over, and if that is not an option, explore government and private subsidies or loans.

Distinguish What You Want From What You Need

Eliminate the non-essentials. Review all the expenses you have made this year. Compare the things and services you have spent on pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this way, you would enrich your perspective on how much you can live without. 

Examine all the expenses done during the social distancing period. Identify areas where you can either reduce or eliminate expenditure. You can remove an item or service from the list of things to spend on by identifying the exact reason you want it. Ask yourself, “Do I need to buy this?” You will be surprised at how many things you could cut off and how much you would save.

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Create An Emergency Budget

This whole pandemic is an emergency. However, some circumstances would warrant a considerable amount of cash to survive. No one can precisely predict the end of these strange times and the return to normal. After taking note of where your money comes from and where it should go and where it should not go, take a percentage out and deem it untouchable unless necessary. 

As small as 5% of your household income can do the trick. Make the necessary adjustments and start saving as soon as possible. If you have an emergency budget on-hand, even before the pandemic, keep on padding that with additional cashflow. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Conclusion

According to Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, LMHC, “if you don’t see it, you don’t feel it.” This statement alone summarizes the essence of this article. Everyone needs to sit down and re-evaluate their lives and their lifestyles.

It is of paramount importance to have the best possible outcome at the end of this pandemic, which will only be achieved by reasonable expenses and safety habits. It is not worth the risk not to assess your finances. If you have not started, this is your wake-up call. Take charge financially right now. 

 

Staying Financially Healthy Amidst COVID-19

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The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has dramatically affected the global economy. Countries around the world adopted quarantine and social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus. Due to the pandemic’s devastating impacts, many States have also imposed lockdown protocols. These restrictions in mobility have resulted in business closures, unemployment, and a global economic downturn.

During these unusual times, it is essential to look after your financial health. Paying your bills and other obligations can be challenging, especially if you suffer from income loss. Failure to protect and manage your finances can have a detrimental effect on your overall financial stability.

Dealing With Debts

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Everyone is affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including your creditors. They, too, will want to protect their finances. Expect your creditors to contact you to discuss the fulfillment of your obligations. Below are some ways to effectively deal with debts:

  • Communicate With Your Creditor 

Talk to your creditors and inform them of your current financial situation. To avoid interest fees, let your creditors know ahead of time of your inability to pay. By communicating with your creditor, you may agree on a payment arrangement that works best for both of you.

  • Know Your Options 

Many banks have relaxed their policies on the payment of obligations. Some financial institutions grant grace periods and waiver of interest fees and other charges. By knowing your options, you may set your money aside for more urgent payments and other expenses.

  • Prioritize Your Payments 

Distinguish your wants from your needs. Housing bills, food, and related expenses, for example, should be your top priority. Make sure that you also have funds allotted for the payment of necessary utilities.

Maximizing Government Support

Governments have emergency funds specially allotted to help its citizens during a crisis and other emergencies. They provide subsidies and other social welfare programs. “Contact your state for guidance and other programs for which your business might be eligible to participate,” Reggie J. Ferreira, Ph.D., says. Know the different government assistance measures available in your country so that you can maximize them. Some of these include:

  • Extension Of Tax Filing Deadlines 

Many countries have extended the deadline to pay off outstanding taxes. Some also waived interest charges and other penalties within a set period. Know if your country adopts similar measures.

  • Special Employee’s Benefits 

Some labor agencies provide additional monetary benefits to employees who continuously work during a lockdown. Several companies also offer hazard pay for front liners. 

  • Other Social Welfare Assistance Programs 

In many developing countries, governments help aid the financial burden of their citizens. They provide monetary allowances and essential goods to qualified households. Know the different social welfare assistance programs available in your country.

Protection From Financial Fraud

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As more people lose their jobs and sources of income because of the pandemic, financial scamming has become rampant. Due to limited mobility, many business transactions take place online or through different telecommunication channels. Some of the most common fraud schemes are:

  • Online Bank Account Hackers. Account-holders receive “phishing emails” containing fake links asking for personal information and passwords.
  • Fake Donation Drives. Scammers ask for donations, but the money collected goes straight to their pockets.
  • Investment Fraud. Scammers claim to provide you with an opportunity to invest in treatment for the virus. After depositing your money, you never hear from them again.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from financial fraud:

  • Be Aware

Ask your banks for their official websites. Seek out legitimate sources of information on any transaction involving the payment of money. Be informed of the common financial frauds in your area.

  • Do Not Give Passwords And Other Personal Information

Even with just a little personal data, and your accounts can already be compromised. When giving out personal information, make sure you are communicating with an authorized or trusted person.

  • Be Cautious In Answering Calls And Responding To Text Messages

Refrain from answering calls and text messages from unknown and suspicious numbers. Scammers usually trick you into giving out your personal information. When in doubt, it is best to drop the call and not respond.

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The adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will worsen in the months to come. Through these helpful tips, you can effectively manage your finances amidst the looming financial crisis. Alongside protecting your physical and mental well-being, make sure that you also protect your financial health.

Get These Book Inspirations From Bill Gates

 

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To become successful, one must work hard facing challenges and overcome different obstacles. It does not come in a silver or gold platter. One has to create his niche and prove to himself that he can make a difference in this world. The modern world has produced a lot of successful people, and we can certainly learn from their experiences. Aside from managing their businesses and making more money or attending charity events, they also make time to read and explore more on how to become a better person. In this article, we will learn the best books picked and read by Bill Gates in 2017.

The world’s wealthiest person shared his five best books in 2017, and surprisingly it does not pertain to some seriously nerdy stuff. His eclectic book choices range from memoirs and novels.

 

The Best We Could Do, By Thi Bui

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A graphic novel on a family’s struggle to come and live in a foreign country. A sort of bibliography, the author, described the effects of displacement and war, the ability to be resilient and face daily struggles as they manage to find their way in the land of the milk and honey.

 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

The book is on the story of eight families experiencing eviction during the financial crisis in 2008. The author examined the effects of monetary constraints brought about by economic depletion and exploitation, politics, affordable housing, and extreme poverty at that time.

 

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens, by Eddie Izzard

Written by an actor, this memoir that possesses a title of a book similar to Gabriel García Márquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera, is his life story as an out transvestite. Reviews of the book hail it as remarkably candid and comedic while relating his life experiences and how he overcame them all.

 

The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

 

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The recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the reader, will be indulged in different themes like immigration, political, metafiction, mystery, dark comedy, espionage, war, and history. As reviewed by GatesNotes,“Nguyen largely ignores these questions and instead tackles the role of individual morality in a time of war. The narrator commits horrible acts on behalf of the North Vietnamese government he serves and the refugee community he’s spying on. He plays both sides to survive. In the end, his lack of conviction makes him the most immoral character of all.”

 

Energy And Civilization, A History, By Vaclav Smil

This is somehow the most serious book from the lost. Written with a historical perspective, the book deals with the importance of energy to the world and the survival of civilizations. It will take the reader to a time capsule and revisit different eras to describe and understand how power evolved all these years.

It is common knowledge that love for reading can bring a person many benefits. The primary of which is knowledge and eradicating ignorance. Successful persons have developed a reading habit wherein they continue to learn and apply this information in their daily lives. Our advice, buy a book, grab a cup of coffee and be taken away for some time to be entertained and educated.

How The Bible Sees Success And What It Means For Us (Part 2 Of A Two-Part Series)

Being Successful With A Purpose

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In this series’ first part, we talked about financial success from a Biblical perspective. Now, we are going to examine how the Bible views success as a whole. Read on to find out!

Continue reading “How The Bible Sees Success And What It Means For Us (Part 2 Of A Two-Part Series)”

Financial Success In A Biblical Perspective (Part 1 Of A Two-Part Series)

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The Bible isn’t just a book of religious ideas and teachings. It contains life lessons as well including money and possession matters. For this article, we’ll tackle how the good, old book sees (and we’ll be surprised by some of the points) financial success. Are you ready? Continue reading “Financial Success In A Biblical Perspective (Part 1 Of A Two-Part Series)”

4 Must-Read Financial Tips For Students

College can be stressful due to the endless projects and assignments that you need to complete several projects. At the same time, it can also be a struggle due to the presence of pressure from parents’ expectations or problems in relationships with people. Another thing that can make college unbearable is when you start to experience financial issues. When this goes beyond your control, it may lead to more significant problems.

Numerous statistics from social science studies attest to the poor financial knowledge of American consumers, and the significant downsides that occur from the lack of knowledge. — Utpal Dholakia Ph.D.

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Money As A Measure Of Influence And Success

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Money is everything – that is a fundamental truth in life. We may tend to say otherwise. However, if we check with reality, it is true enough that “money talks.”

Managing our resources is one of the most important life skills we will ever have. And with the realities of this last recession—bank failures, job losses, upside down mortgages, and eviscerated pension plans—money and financial issues have been on our minds more than ever. — Lynne Silva-Breen, MDiv, MA, LMFT

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How To Create The Best Resume

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Resumes are the first touchpoints of employers during the hiring process. If your resume doesn’t stand out, they might throw yours into the reject pile, and you’ll never hear from them again. It’s also advantageous to properly draft your resume so that it can attract the software bots doing the upfront work.

Ensure that you will receive more interview and job offers in the future by following these essential tips.

Spot Keywords In The Job Posting

The first step into crafting a good resume is to carefully read the job postings which fit your status and interest you. After familiarizing yourself with these, look for keywords in each job description and include these keywords to tailor your resume and make it relevant to the said posting.

If, for example, you’re looking for a marketing job, an employer might include keywords such as “branding,” “project management,” “marketing plans,” or “selling.” Pay attention to the requirements and qualifications sections as well. You can also integrate the skills and requirements that the employers are looking for into your resume.

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Write Down Accomplishments Instead Of Job Descriptions

Hiring managers, especially those who are trying to fill technical job positions, seek candidates who are capable of solving the current problems of the company. Hence, they are more inclined to absorb people who have already proven themselves through results. Take note of the following pointers on how you can highlight these:

  • Focus on what you did and achieved in your past job instead of just describing what your job description is.
  • Write down accomplishments that are unique and unachievable by others.
  • Include a one- to two-liner explanation of what the problem was. Back it up with your thought and execution processes and their corresponding results.
  • Avoid listing down generic job descriptions.

Make Your Achievements Quantifiable

If you want to set an accurate picture of what you have accomplished in your past experiences, you have to make sure that you put numbers and values. These will make your achievements look more powerful and admirable.

You also have to take note that placing numbers will make you more comparable to other candidates. Therefore, only choose the most relevant and significant accomplishments you have done.

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Study Examples Of Resumes Applicable To Your Industry

A one-size-fits-all approach is not applicable for resumes. If you want your resume to stand out from the rest, you have to ensure that you tailor it after successful resumes from previous hires. Look for their commonality and apply this to your draft.

Use A Professional-Looking Font

It only takes five seconds for employers to decide whether your resume will land on the reject pile. To avoid this situation, you should look for ways that will attract them to put more time into reviewing your resume. One strategy you can use is the application of a professional-looking font. Listed below are some tips on how to achieve this.

  • Use a crisp and basic font like Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Retain a font size between 10 and 12 points.
  • Use capital fonts for section headers.

Remember that your resume is the first way you enter the radar of a potential employer. With an impeccable resume, you’ll significantly boost your odds of getting that interview—and, hopefully, the job.

Marriage Is Not All About Love: How It Will Benefit You Financially

  

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It is wedding season once again! We are on for months of hearing wedding bells and seeing dashing gowns, flowers, and themes. Although it may be different depending on which state you are, typically it is May and June.

When we hear about weddings, we often think about love. Well, that’s what it is supposed to be – about love! But did you know that aside from the emotional benefits marriage has to offer, it also involves financial benefits which most of us don’t admit to being interested in? And If you are planning on getting married soon, you might as well know all the benefits you can get from it.

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 What Are The Financial Benefits Of Marriage?

Fewer Payables

When you are living alone, you will have to pay the bills on your own and buy and use appliances by yourself. When you get married, you will have someone to share them with. You will share the mortgage, utility bills, and all the furniture in the house. You do not have to bear the burden all by yourself because you will have a partner to help you out with everything.

Talk to your partner about your values and what they mean. Talk about your insecurities and anxieties about money. This process will help you to have compassion and understanding for your partner and will likely prevent or mitigate some of the financial distress in your relationship.  — Mieke Rivka Sidorsky, LCSW-C

Faster Loan Approvals

When you and your spouse are both employed or earning income monthly, you will be able to qualify for a more considerable amount of loan which can also mean you have a higher chance of getting approved for larger purchases like a house, car, expensive appliances and such.

HealthCare Benefits

When both of you and your partner are both employed, you can use each other’s employer health care benefits, whichever offers better, not to mention health care benefit becomes cheaper when your health insurances are combined compared to individual healthcare insurance.

Life Insurance Benefits

Although it is unfortunate to talk about life insurances, it is one of the leading benefits of marriage. It is easier to determine your beneficiary and vice versa. Your spouse’s or your policy will then be tax-free before being collected by the recipient.

Keep your financial values foremost and refer back to them whenever you make a decision to ensure you are acting in alignment with your priorities. — Sarah E. Clark, LMFT, LMHC, CVRT

Social Security Benefits

Social Security is a big help when the time comes. When you are at least 62 years of age, you can be eligible to receive half of your spouse’s Social Security benefit, and if you also have an account of your own, you can get whichever is higher. There is also what we call the Social Security survivor benefits which allow the spouse to obtain financial assistance if his spouse dies.

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Marriage is not all about physical and emotional stability. It also involves financial security. It is after all the purpose of finding a better half – to have someone to share life with which includes every aspect of it. Marriage gives us someone to divide assets and liabilities as well as to provide us with a better and more comfortable time.

Probably at the top of the list of skills that financially stable families report is that the adults in the family have generally talked about, negotiated, planned, and set up a financial process with shared, open values. The meaning and importance of work, child bearing and care, and the meaning of investments, property, education, vacations, entertainment, and saving have been discussed and reached a generally stable agreement. — Lynne Silva-Breen, MDiv, MA, LMFT

We have to admit it, being financially secure is where it all comes down one day, and having someone who will contribute to this can be one of the major decisions we will make in life.

Same-sex marriage has also been recently approved in all 50 states which means every couple, regardless if they have the same gender, is eligible for receiving all financial benefits marriage has to offer.