When COVID-19 began spreading across America, many people believed it would be just like the flu. Every year, flu season strikes, but it’s over in a few months. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates between 12,000 and 61,000 people die from the flu annually. There’s no doubt, that’s a lot of lives lost, but the flu has never done the economic damage the country is experiencing from the coronavirus.
The pandemic left utter devastation in its wake. Unemployment numbers, once the lowest in 50 years, soared. The healthcare system is being pushed to its limits. Stocks tanked and states’ economies ground to a halt. It was like someone unplugged the country and it turned off like a television. And it’s not over yet.
Families across America are grappling with what to do next. Medical experts are predicting a rough few months, and many people are looking for ways to put themselves in a better position financially. Companies like Tate Advisors are helping them do just that.
According to reports, health experts are preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 this winter. Positive cases are rising across the country as states try to reopen. As winter approaches, more people are going to spend time indoors. That means they may not be social distancing and the potential for spread is higher.
The CDC recently updated its website and predicts the death toll may climb to 233,000 by the end of October. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced his state will open a field hospital to ease some of the strain on the healthcare system as hospitalizations surge.
What does that mean for personal finances? Nobody can really predict what’s going to happen there. Wall Street definitely doesn’t respond well to uncertainty and it’s possible more people could lose their jobs. The best advice anyone could take is to get their finances in order now. That way they can weather the storm with as little upheaval as possible.
Start With This
For those who are taking that advice, they are going to want to audit their finances before they get started. If they are paying on multiple credit cards with high-interest rates, a good idea may be to consolidate those payments.
Making multiple payments can quickly become overwhelming. There’s also more room for error when that happens. And we all know credit card company late fees are not small in most cases. Rather than juggle all of those payments, they can take out a consolidation loan.
These types of loans often come with lower interest rates than those of the individual credit cards. A consumer can use the loan to pay off the credit cards. Then, instead of worrying about multiple payments every month, they can just pay the loan back.
Tate Advisors can help them do just that. If their interest rate is lower, they could even get out from under that debt sooner. Whether they are making payments on one loan or have paid it off, they should use some of the extra money they have that would have gone toward interest to create an emergency fund.
Tuck Some Cash Away
With all of the turmoil caused by COVID-19 and concerns about a second wave, it’s not a bad idea for everyone to make sure their emergency fund is healthy. Experts recommend people have at least enough money to pay three months’ worth of expenses if they lose their income.
For people who are struggling to make ends meet right now, even putting away $5 is a step in the right direction. Tucking that money away will make it a habit and after they get help from Tate Advisors or a company like that, they can add more to the fund. If they’re tax return comes, add a few dollars extra. If Congress ever passes another bill with direct aid, some of that can go in the emergency fund as well.
COVID-19 is going to be sticking around for a little while. All we can do is prepare and keep ourselves safe.