How To Keep Afloat
Ernie Neve, CPA
May 29, 2020
Look, let’s just be honest right now – people are struggling financially. Yes, stimulus checks are continuing to go out and they are having an impact for millions of Americans.
Despite that, times are still hard for a lot of folks, so today, I wanted to share some critical ways you can keep more money in your pocket and not negatively impact your overall financial situation.
· Communicate. Everyone around the world has been impacted, so if you’re struggling to pay a bill, whether it’s the mortgage or the car insurance, pickup the phone and call that company. Explain what you can do now, when you believe you can make a payment, and then? Keep in touch! Nobody likes to talk to companies they owe money to, but this simple communication can be the difference between an impact in your credit score, a closed account, or even a repossession or cancelled policy.
· Take a hard look at recurring payments. Another simple thing is to really study your bank statements and see if there are recurring payments you had forgotten about. Health clubs, various membership programs that are not currently meeting, or even accounts you’d forgotten about could all be automatically drafted from your account that you never noticed. Get clarity on these now and get them solved.
· Ask for a hand. When you’re practicing that communication from the first point above, make sure you ask if they have any way to lower rates or to give you an extra month of two before the next payment. Several times in the last month, we’ve had clients share that certain loans had 1, 2, or even 3 month “grace” periods extended to allow them to use their limited funds in more useful ways right now. You never know until you ask!
· Ask for a refund. It might seem callous or unsportsmanlike, but the truth of the matter is, COVID-19 cancelled a lot of things. If, for example, you bought tickets to a cancelled event, or paid for a child’s baseball season that was cancelled, you need to be determining what is going to go on with those funds. Yes, you might feel awkward since we are all worried about the state of small businesses these days, but you also have obligations you need to meet for your family.
Without a doubt, the challenges we’re all facing are unprecedented in our lifetimes. As such, we are all breaking new ground in how we deal with the pandemic. Right now, though, your obligations to your family and yourself are a priority, so use these ideas to ensure you can stay afloat.
All the best!