Well, it’s been a year.

That understatement of the century refers, obviously, to the current pandemic. For many people, the pandemic doesn’t begin and end with the virus, either.

The economic impact of the pandemic has caused financial problems for millions of people forced to weather the economic storm.

If that’s you, then here are some personal banking tips to keep you afloat in a COVID economy.

Review the Situation

First things first: information. Good money management comes from knowing what you’re working with.

Draw together everything there is to know about your finances. This should include your income, expenses, loans, and any other financial obligations you have. Leave no stone unturned.

The point of this step is to collate information so you can tackle it all in the most logical way. This is the scouting mission before the battle.

Budget for the Future

With a full overview of your finances, you can start to put together a sensible budget.

That includes essentials first, like your mortgage, rent, bills, and so on. In a short-term crisis, we could stop there. Yet the harsh reality of COVID is that we can’t go full lockdown on our finances. Life goes on.

That means you’ll need to budget for general living costs, too, like replacement electronic goods or home repairs. You need to prepare for surprises.

Buy now pay later shopping could help you afford essentials in trying times, but you should always look to the long term before entering into a credit agreement. Alternatively, consider making do where possible or focusing on affordability over performance.

Contact Your Lenders

If you’ve assessed your finances, figured out your budget, and come to the conclusion that you aren’t going to manage, then it’s time to contact your lenders.

Credit card debt and missed loan repayments can take control away from you over time.

In the long run, these will both bring your credit score down, making things even harder in the future.

Most lenders have provisions in place for borrowers affected by the COVID situation. The most important thing is that you contact them early—as soon as you spot the problem. Never miss payments without first contacting your lender.

Maintain Your Credit Rating

It’s the nature of the COVID economy that things can change quickly even as the pandemic drags on.

Your future financial situation could depend on your current credit rating, whether you’re moving home, taking out a new line of credit, or applying for a loan.

So prioritize keeping your credit healthy when you can. In most cases, this follows naturally from staying on top of your repayments, but fix any problems with your credit quickly if they should occur to keep control of your finances.

Personal Banking in a COVID Economy

These tips should help you take control of your personal banking and shore up your finances against the COVID economy. The sooner you do that, the better placed you’ll be to endure the long haul.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks.

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