How to budget: financial tips to manage your money right now

But for those who have lost their jobs or seen their income drastically reduced, the situation is a little more serious. They may be concerned or frustrated with the process of applying for unemployment benefits and stressed about whether or not those funds will be enough for them, Liu says. And if someone didn’t have an emergency fund or budgeting system in place before, Viktorin says that will undoubtedly be a priority for them now.

Plus, the general feeling of uncertainty about when it will all end makes it hard to really plan for the future or even know what’s doable. Perhaps that’s why Viktorin says his conversations with clients recently have been a little different than usual. “Some people can get so emotionally wrapped up in what it means they might be paralyzed in what they should or shouldn’t be doing,” she says, adding that her job these days is more like a combination of friend, psychologist and financier. planner. “You are in the eye of the storm,” she often tells her clients, “but I can help you see above and around the storm.”

In general, here’s how experts recommend approaching your finances right now:

Giving financial advice is difficult when you don’t know the extent of someone’s personal situation. So it’s best to discuss your concerns with your own financial adviser, if you can. But, in general, here is what our experts suggest.

1. First, take a moment to pause and reflect.

When you start thinking about how the coronavirus pandemic could affect your financial security or something suddenly happens, like you lose your job or have to deal with a medical crisis, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and panic. . That’s why it’s crucial to sit down and take a few deep breaths before making big decisions, says Viktorin. “Take this moment and be aware of how you feel, and come back to what your goals really are,” she advises.

2. If you don’t already have one, make a long-term financial plan.

Once you’ve had time to calm down and think about your goals, think back to your long term plan– or take the opportunity to make one for the first time. “Our clients who have been working with a trainer for at least two months already, they have a plan they are working on and they see the big picture,” Liu says. “They’re exponentially calmer than people who don’t have a plan.”

But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s too late to launch one now. Although this is best done with the help of a financial advisor if you have access to one, there are many things you can do yourself. For example, you can start by thinking about your essential expenses, including rent, food, utilities, and an emergency savings fund.

Then take the time to identify your short-term and long-term financial goals, which can be classic things like sending a kid to college, paying off debt, or saving for a vacation (remember a trip?) or for your retirement, says Viktorin. Once you have your goals in mind, you can start creating a budget system for track your expensesbut keep in mind that it may take you a while to find one that works for you.

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