Six tips for financial wellness in the coronavirus era

Budget and debt |

Steps you can take to decrease financial stress

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With change and uncertainty around COVID-19 (coronavirus), you may feel greater anxiety, worry and stress – especially around personal finances. Some of us are facing the possibility of reduced income with fewer hours at work. Parents are scrambling to find childcare or cover shifts so they can stay home because their child’s school has closed. Many households are stocking up on food staples and supplies, creating a strain on budgets. And, there’s shifting economic turbulence every day.

This is a perfect time for you to take a good look at your personal finances and put plans in place for the weeks and months ahead.

Steps you can take to decrease financial stress

  1. Review your budget. If you’re concerned about a decrease in income, review your budget and cut down on any expenses that you can. Ask yourself if there are items in your budget that could be cut temporarily. Avoid overbuying or stockpiling too many supplies, such as toilet paper and sanitizer.
  2. Pay priority expenses. Pay your housing expenses first, including your rent/mortgage and utilities. If you’re concerned about the ability to make your mortgage payment, contact our partners at LSS Financial Counseling for free housing counseling over the phone.
  3. Take care of your mental and physical health. Food is a priority expense. Also, keep paying your health care and insurance premiums. Focus on what you can control, including basics such as exercise, good sleep and nutrition.
  4. Have a plan for managing your debt. Debts for credit cards, car loans and student loans have different priorities and options for helping you though times of uncertainty. Create a plan for addressing them. Contact lenders to let them know if you are having difficulty making payments and see if they have any hardship programs. You can also contact LSS Financial Counseling, who specializes in these areas and can help you determine action for helping to manage your debt – at no cost to you and from the comfort of your own home.
  5. Stay up to date on changing situations and resources available to you. Many states are looking at expanding unemployment benefits for those impacted by work stoppage, such as hourly employees at schools. If you are facing unemployment, check with your state’s unemployment agency on any potential unemployment insurance options available. Also look for support in your community for food, energy assistance, health care and many other essential needs.
  6. Don’t stop saving. Seventy percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 saved. Make this a priority to decrease financial stress and uncertainty.

We can help

If you’re facing a difficult financial situation or need basic financial counsel about a mortgage, your credit report, loans or budget, Everence® offers a compassionate and thoughtful service that can help.

Since 2008, Everence has partnered with LSS Financial Counseling, a service of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, to offer confidential budget and debt counseling from certified credit counselors (up to six sessions) at no cost to thousands of Everence members. LSS is one of the nation’s leading consumer credit counseling agencies and has a 30-year history of providing nonprofit, certified financial counseling. Learn more at everence.com/budget-and-debt-counseling.


Cherrish Holland

Author

Cherrish Holland
Program Director for Partnerships and Financial Education, LSS Financial Counseling

Call a credit counselor

Get free debt and budget counseling at (877) 809-0039.

Para un consejero quien habla español, llame (855) 292-0131.

Additional information

LSS also offers counseling services through mail correspondence for Amish and related faith communities. Call LSS or your local Everence office to use this method of service.

Call (800) 348-7468 or visit any of our offices to talk to an Everence representative.

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