Reduce Stress In the COVID Age By Taking Control of Your Finances Now

Reduce Stress In the COVID Age By Taking Control of Your Finances Now
  • Opening Intro -

    When the coronavirus pandemic was first declared, we had no idea that it would change our lives.

    But more than a year after the World Health Organization said we had a problem, we are still dealing with the ramifications.


Globally, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and financial stress has found its way into every economic class. However, there are a few ways you can take control of your finances to help ease anxiety as the world begins to recover.

Changes at Home

When money is your biggest concern, make changes that will keep less of it from leaving your bank account. Three ways to do this are to refinance your mortgage (to enjoy a lower interest rate), reduce your reliance on paid television, and learn how to use your kitchen for creative dining.

When you refinance your mortgage, you can potentially cut your interest rate. This can save you hundreds of dollars per month depending on your current interest rate and mortgage balance.

And, if you’re a veteran, you may qualify for a VA IRRRL, which is a type of loan specific for former active duty service members. They are easy to apply for and closing times are typically much shorter than a traditional refinance.

Even if you’re not a veteran, interest rates remain low. The biggest caveat here is that you will have to come up with closing costs, which includes your escrow, loan origination fee, appraisal, and title search.

Eliminating cable can save you $100 a month or more, and there are plenty of options for free television on your smart TV or computer. You can also stream via your existing game system or, in some cases, through your cell phone provider — many cellular plans offer free access to Netflix, HBO max, or other streaming service.

Learning how to cook is another great way to cut out a chunk of your monthly expenses. If you dine out often, you are likely spending $3,000 or more per year just on eating out. Take a cooking class and learn how to prepare your favorite meals at home for less than half the price.

Make the Most of Credit Issues

Not paying your bills on time is an unfortunate consequence of losing a job. A side effect of this is a damaged credit score.

SayEducate has mentioned before that a single 30-day delay on one payment can drop your credit score by 100 points. The good news is that it does not take much to begin rebuilding your credit worthiness.

Start by paying your current bills on time each month. If possible, consolidate your credit cards into one lower-interest loan. If you have a home equity line of credit, your interest rate is likely much lower than any credit card.

Speaking of credit cards, if you don’t currently have a line of revolving credit but you are also not in debt, open a store credit account. Choose a store that you frequent, and use the card for items that you would buy anyway.

Pay this off at the end of each month so that you’re not accruing compounded interest. A store credit card is easier to qualify for than a traditional line of credit, but the card issuer still reports to the major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

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Look Ahead

Other ways to reduce stress related to money are to save a financial cushion and increase your incoming funds. Most experts agree that it’s financially sound to have a six-month emergency fund stashed away in the bank.

This way, if you lose your primary source of income, you have six months before you feel the financial pinch once again. Once you have your emergency fund set aside, start saving for retirement. Make this a priority over saving for your children’s college.

Saving is not just enough, however. If you are already strapped for cash at the end of each week, it’s also prudent to look for new opportunities to increase your incoming funds. This could include asking for a raise at work, freelancing, or going back to school so that you are better qualified for a new position or promotion.

Financial concerns are one of the greatest stressors in our adult lives. The pandemic did not make this any better, and widespread job losses have only amplified stress levels across the country.

But even if you’ve got a modest income at the moment, there are ways to take care of your money issues so that you emerge from the pandemic financially fit.

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