Staying healthy isn’t the only concern these days. The coronavirus is also affecting our wallets. We want our members healthy and to keep your financial stresses at a minimum, so here are a few tips to help.
- Keep Your Savings Safe – Some people panic during stressful times and want to withdraw all their savings. As tempting as that may be, your money is much safer in your savings account than under your mattress. Just remember that at credit unions like WWFCU, your deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration to at least $250,000.
- Don’t Sell Your Investments – If the stock market’s plummet has you concerned, believe us, you’re not alone. Chances are, your 401(k) and other investments have felt the effects of Wall Street. Even though watching your nest egg slowly disappear is stressful, it’s in your best financial interest to leave it alone. Remember, the goal of investing is to buy low and sell high. If you panic-sell, you’re doing the opposite. The market will eventually reset itself. In the meantime, you might be better off not even looking at your investment or retirement accounts until things have improved to avoid any knee-jerk reactions.
- Avoid Over-buying – Thinking of stockpiling on toilet paper or antibacterial wipes? Might want to think again. If money is tight, the last thing you need to do right now is put 100 rolls of toilet paper on your credit card. Of course, we want you to buy what you need, but just keep in mind that the store shelves will eventually be restocked – but your credit card balances need to stay low.
- Cut Expenses Where Possible – Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to get rid of your Netflix account – we know that’s almost a necessity right now! But there are other areas where you can cut back. Options like Grubhub and Uber Eats make it really easy to have dinner delivered but try to scale back when possible. Cook more meals at home and see if you can pick up the meals yourself at the restaurant if it doesn’t put your health at risk. Take a look at your most recent account statement and analyze it for areas where you can reduce spending.
- Boost Your Emergency Fund – This one may not be possible for everyone in the midst of all these layoffs and cutbacks. But if you’re lucky enough to still be earning a full paycheck, put a little aside into a separate savings account each pay period. Even $50 a check is a start. Expecting a tax refund this year? Unless you need it to pay bills, think about depositing some if not all into an emergency fund.
- Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates – The Fed lowered the interest rates for a reason – to help out during these unstable times. Mortgage and other loan rates are at a near-record low. Crunch your numbers and see if refinancing makes sense for you right now. You might want to consider getting a personal loan to consolidate your debt. Before you start any loan or refinance process, check your FICO score. Your best bet for getting your credit score for free is at NerdWallet.com or CreditKarma.com. That way you’ll know what to expect when the loan officer pulls your report. Click here to apply for a loan with WWFCU today.
Reach out to our Member Service Representatives at (734)721-5700 if you’d like to learn more about saving, loans, interest rates or more. You can also view our latest interest rates here.