In times of uncertainty or economic volatility, it's natural to be worried about your finances. We want to help make things a little easier. That’s why we’re sharing these practical financial tips to help you become more financially secure and better prepared for whatever tomorrow brings.
- Keep an Eye on Your Money
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has forced us all to adjust our routines, but this doesn't mean you should stop keeping tabs on your accounts.
Wondering how to manage your money when you can’t get to your credit union branch? You can complete many common banking transactions from your nearest surcharge-free ATM. And, it’s easy to bank from the comfort of home with Online and Mobile Account Access. Simply log in to view balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and even deposit checks.
- Refinance or Consolidate Loans
An economic recession is never easy, but one of the positive side effects of recession is that many borrowing rates tend to go down. This creates a good opportunity to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate and even access additional funds with cash-out refinancing.
Some other ways to lower your monthly bills:
But consolidating debt is only part of the solution. Knowing how to save money can keep you from accumulating more debt while paying off your current balances.
- Create a Budget
You need a budget, and this couldn’t be more important than in times of economic uncertainty.
By listing all of your regular monthly expenses (like housing, groceries, and utilities), you’ll have a better idea of where your income needs to be spent. Subtract your monthly expenses from your income and you’ll know how much you have left to put into savings or spend on something fun.
Some people use a budget based on the 50/30/20 rule, which commits 50% of after-tax income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to building their savings. But right now, it’s a good idea to set aside extra money (if you can) in your savings. Sure, it takes a bit more discipline, but the extra financial security it creates will make it well worth the effort.
Need help? It's now easier than ever to find apps that can serve as a family budget planner.
- Track Spending & Find Ways to Save
Along with helping you set financial priorities, a great budget makes it easier to identity wasteful spending. Review your account statements or budgeting app to find expenses you could skip or reduce. Every dollar you save should go to your savings.
Wondering how to save money fast? Try these tips:
- Do more comparison shopping. You'll be surprised how often you can find a better deal online or at a different store.
- Buy in bulk, especially nonperishable groceries and household items.
- Unsubscribe from streaming services and other memberships, especially those you rarely use.
- Cook more, get takeout less. You can find lots of delicious, low-cost recipes online. Check them out before heading to the store.
- Build Up Your Emergency Fund
During times of economic uncertainty, one of the smartest things you can do is start, or build up, your emergency savings fund. While a job loss or unplanned expenses may be out of your control, having extra cash set aside for these scenarios will make things a whole lot easier.
To ensure you’re consistently adding to your emergency savings, set up automatic monthly transfers from checking to savings.
- Guard Against Fraud & Identity Theft
A public crisis often creates an increased risk of fraud and identity theft as criminals attempt to exploit people’s fears for personal gain.
To avoid falling victim to financial crimes, use extra caution online and consider using a card management tool like Dover Federal’s CardValet® to monitor and protect your debit and credit cards. Visit our Security Center for more ways to stay protected.
- Turn to Your Credit Union
Credit unions like Dover Federal exist for one reason: to serve our members. This makes credit unions a great financial partner during times of prosperity and an important resource when times are tough.
Right now, we’re taking extraordinary steps to help our members manage their finances during these challenging times.
If you have questions about banking or our financial services, or if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our online resource center or connect with our team. We’re here to help.