As businesses slowly begin to reopen across the country, it finally seems as though there may be a light – though still distantly – at the end of the tunnel. While we seem to still be a long way away from returning to “normal,” the start of businesses reopening signals at least a financial shift.
For many Americans, the pandemic has meant job loss or furlough, and as a result, a struggle to make ends meet. While for others who have maintained their income, this time has resulted in a drop in spending and even some financial relief. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, the slow shift to post-pandemic life will undoubtedly have some impact on your finances. And it’s crucial to prepare now.
Post-Pandemic Finances and Your Budget
The most important place to start when preparing your post-pandemic finances is your budget. Your budget is simply what’s coming in each month (your income) versus what’s going out (any and all expenses). Regardless of your employment situation, your budget has likely changed in some fashion during COVID-19.
Therefore, to prepare for post-pandemic life, consider how your budget and finances will once again shift. If you’ve been out of work and know you’ll be returning once your industry gets the green light, you know your income will once again increase. On the other hand, if you’re a healthcare professional or other essential worker who has been working more hours during the pandemic, you may see your income decrease post-pandemic. This is also something you should be aware of and planning ahead for. On the other end of your budget, your spending may have decreased during this time as a result of diminished entertainment options. Consider how your spending will be impacted as these options begin to return. Perhaps make a plan to avoid an immediate spending spike and instead increase your spending gradually.
Managing Debt Post-Pandemic
Many who have been struggling to make ends meet during this time may have been turning to credit to help with expenses. Perhaps you had existing debt that you haven’t been making payments on or have only been making the minimum payments on. Creditors have also been offering assistance to borrowers that are facing financial hardship. Therefore, you may have had deferred payments but may be approaching the time when payments will become due again.
If you know that your income is going to return as we approach or reach post-pandemic life, now is the right time to assess your finances and start making a debt payoff plan. It’s okay to have relied on credit during this time. But the sooner you can tackle it post-pandemic, the better off you’ll be. Assess how much you owe and to whom. Then, after looking at your post-pandemic budget, determine how much you’ll be able to pay each month. If there are areas where you can cut back now and going forward, you may be able to allocate more funds to paying off debt. This will help you pay it down faster. You are certainly not alone in this situation. You may also consider seeking help from a financial professional, such as a debt attorney.
The Bottom Line
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for so many reasons, including financial reasons. Nearly every American has seen their personal finances impacted by the pandemic in one way or another. As we appear to be cresting the hill, it’s important to begin to prepare for what’s awaiting us on the other side. For some, it will be the relief of bringing in money again. For others, it will be a challenge to avoid overspending. And for others still, it will feel like playing catch up after months of falling behind. No matter your situation, preparing now for what’s ahead will help you get or stay on the right track.
If you’re looking for assistance in navigating your post-pandemic finances, the debt professionals at Tayne Law Group, P.C. are here to help you. Call our crisis hotline today for a free consultation.