Last week, Amanda Rubeck joined us for a Torch Talk about navigating our finances, especially during a pandemic. If you took a step back and re-focused on your finances during the pandemic, you’re definitely not alone. In her talk, she discussed some tips for navigating financial changes, advice for building strong financial habits and checkpoints to prepare you for the future, and tips for avoiding scams.
Be Proactive with your Finances
Amanda discussed the importance of being proactive with your finances– don’t wait until things are in shambles to go have a conversation with your banker. Talk through “what if” scenarios that you may have in the back of your mind, and write them down. Come prepared to conversations with your banker to make a plan for the future.
Your Banker Wants to Hear from You
You’re not alone when it comes to your finances. Your banker wants to hear from you and they are there to help you! If you don’t have a personal banker, call your local branch wherever you bank and ask them who they would recommend.
Keep in mind that many banks and credit unions have lots of resources and programs available for customers. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help– bankers have seen it all and won’t judge your situation. They are here to help.
Build & Adjust Your Budget for Reduced Income
Many people’s jobs have been affected by the pandemic, or they have had their salary reduced. If you don’t already have a budget, this is an important time to prioritize creating one. During times of financial change, it’s also important to track expenses carefully and build an emergency budget. An emergency budget is similar to your regular budget, but with expenses cut even more. It’s important to have that information ready in case something happens.
Especially during this pandemic, there are lots of financial scams going around. Here are some of Amanda’s tips for avoiding scams and staying safe with your finances:
- Be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls.
- Do not give out your personal information.
- Verify charities before donating any money to them.
- Never respond to or click on emails with suspicious links or attachments.
- Always look at the email sender and their email address to ensure it’s legitimate.
It may be a challenging time for our finances, but the more we prepare and are proactive, the less stressed we’ll be. Over the next few months, try to implement some of Amanda’s tips into your everyday life.