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6 Ways To Budget During COVID-19

If you don’t have a budget or don’t know how to budget, then NOW is the time! Many of us are experiencing financial hardship, which means it’s time to adjust our budgets. Use these tips to create a simple budget you can utilize during the COVID-19 crisis.

1.) Revisit & Revise

"Revisit & Revise" girl looking at papers

Your budget can look very different now than it did a few weeks ago. If you’ve been impacted by a job loss, pay cut or furlough, your budget is going to change drastically now. Take a look at all the forms of income you have. See which ones have decreased or stopped all together.

2.) Make A List

a person writing on a note pad "Make A List"

This is the time to understand where you’re spending money and on what. Make a list of everything you spend money on then place them in categories such as housing, food, utilities, etc. You can also add your student loan debt payments to this category. As a reminder, all federal student loans have 0% interest until September. The second list should include items buy with extra money. This can include hobbies, shopping, personal care, etc. The third list should include bills you don’t pay on a monthly base such as insurance premiums and taxes.

3.) Cut The Fluff

shopping cart on computer "Cut The Fluff"

Now is the time to decrease non-essential spending. This leaves a cushion for any future financial hardships. This can include rethinking your movie channels, your XM radio subscriptions, your ipsy/fabletics subscriptions, etc. This is the time for a “subscription scrub.” An easy way to do this is print out your monthly debit or credit card statement and see what subscriptions you’re paying for monthly.

4.) What’s Essential?

a row of houses "What's Essential"

Look through your bills and categorize the ones you must pay monthly. If you’re unable to pay them all, then consider talking to the company you owe about deferring payments or creating a payment plan. You can also look at refinancing car & home loans for a smaller monthly payment.

5.) Build Emergency Savings

woman putting money in a piggy bank "Build Emergency Savings"

If you don’t have an emergency budget, then now is a great time to start one. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to stick in there just start with whatever you can spare. This could be a life saver later on.

6.) Sell Things (Future)

Two laptops with hands sticking out. One with shopping bag. One with credit card. "Sell Things"

It is springtime! Now is the time to go through your belongings and set them aside for a future yard sale or to sell on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, CraigsList, LetGo, or Poshmark. This can provide you with extra cash to put into your emergency fund or pay bills.

If you’re looking for additional help budgeting, you can check out our financial tools in Digital Banking or download an app like Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar.

During these times, we understand that although budgeting is important, it may not be enough. Launch is offering a relief loan to those who qualify.

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