At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we watched the unemployment rate skyrocket while the market crashed. While the economy is moving to a more stable place today, most families are still experiencing financial difficulties in their everyday lives. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that 43% of families have been financially impacted from the pandemic with household members losing jobs or pay. Whether you’re worried about making ends meet as your company cut your bonus, or you’re hiring a babysitter just so you can get some work done from home, it’s worth taking a look at your financials.
Tips for Budgeting during the Pandemic
Todd Christensen of Money Fit by DRS has some advice on how to maintain financial wellness during this time.
Budgeting for COVID-19 Direct Impacts
Don’t use emergency funds making bulk-purchases. Those emergency funds can be better saved for times you’re out-of-work or for necessary medical expenses. If you have a budget, now is the time to consider diverting some discretionary spending from activities like dining out and vacation to building up your emergency fund. If you don’t have a budget, now is a good time to make one and start putting some money aside each month for an emergency fund.
Now is a good time to reprioritize your budget. Christensen doesn’t recommend going into financial lockdown during the pandemic, but use the pandemic to refocus on what expenses deserve priority.
While you’re looking at your budget, don’t forget to continue paying down debt. If you stop making payments on time you could cause yourself bigger financial problems in the future.
Continue to contribute to your savings as long as you have a regular salary or wages coming in. Avoid spending your savings on things that are not necessary.
Instead of using savings on stockpiling toilet paper or cans of soup, consider adding a few items each time you go grocery shopping. That way you can keep saving while feeling prepared.
Budgeting When Considering Divorce during the Pandemic
If you’re considering divorce during this time, it’s still important to budget. Information from a budget will be important to help you understand your needs, child support, and spousal support. Your expenses are likely changing during this time, maybe you’re spending less on gas and more on childcare. Keep an update of your expenses to make sure they accurately reflect your lifestyle and needs.
At Lake Harriet Law Office, we provide strong legal representation for our clients who are going through divorce and family law matters, and we use data-focused financial approach to address the division of assets and debts. If you are concerned about divorce and the related financial issues, please contact us to schedule a consultation at 612-750-4843.
Managing Attorney – Randall A. Smith
Student Attorney – McKenzie Harter
Student Attorney – Taylor Blatchford
Student Attorney – Esther Raty