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Budgeting in a Crisis: Dos and Don’ts

Budgeting in a Crisis: Dos and Don’ts

It may seem strange to suggest a budget overhaul at a time of so much uncertainty. But that is exactly when these kinds of changes can be most beneficial and impactful.

In general, many regular expenses have ceased to be a concern during the corona pandemic. There are virtually no restaurant meals, mani-pedis, or gym classes happening right now. But that money really isn’t enough to navigate unemployment or a recession.  Here are a few tips on saving during a crisis:

Tackle the Two at the Top

Intentionally review your budget and find the three biggest expenses. For most people, these will be housing, transportation, and food. Then decide on two of these expenses that can be reduced or revamped. Car owners should consider reducing or even canceling the insurance for cars they aren’t using. Decide on a few low-cost local takeout menus and order as a treat, not as a default dinner option. Homeowners who have good credit and are still lucky enough to have steady incomes should consider refinancing their mortgage while rates are low. Tenants with a rental lease should talk with their landlords and negotiate an arrangement that makes sense for both parties.

Be Deliberate about Saving

A crisis is not the time to undertake a major D.I.Y. home renovation. Nor is it the time to buy the fancy cooking equipment to indulge a gourmet cooking hobby. It is the time to invest in health and fitness, including financial wellbeing. Money saved should be traceable and accounted for.

Need vs. Want

In times of crisis, most people evaluate what is really important to them. But when it comes to making money decisions, the lines between need and want can be hard to draw. Review all the “essentials” like cable subscriptions (opt for streaming platforms), birthday gifts (call and/or send a handmade gift), date nights (do them at home for a fraction of the cost) and modify accordingly.

Speak Up

Most service providers would much rather retain a customer at a lower monthly rate than lose that customer entirely. Consumers who need to cut costs should contact providers and discuss alternatives. While some restructuring might incur interest or finance charges, many companies are waving those now too.

Keep What is Critical

Home repairs are inevitable. The fridge doesn’t know there is a global pandemic; the roof isn’t aware of the economic recession. Make sure there is enough money in the budget for these maintenance jobs. Don’t remove or reduce comprehensive car insurance; hold on to life insurance policies that can be a hassle to restore if canceled. should be preserved. The critical should also include at least one “Happy” to keep as well. Don’t wipe out every joyful budget line. Make sure to “splurge” on at least one thing that makes corona, quarantine, and social distancing more manageable.

What to Expect When You Meet With Your Financial Adviser

Not all investment firms work in the same way, but it’s helpful to have some ideas about what you’ll experience when you meet with your financial adviser. The first step, of course, is to find an adviser with whom you’d like to work. Amongst other resources, sites like CrunchBase compile publicly available information about investing… Continue Reading

ETF-Managed Portfolios Gain Momentum

Customized managed portfolio strategies involving low-cost exchange traded funds (ETFs) are continuing to attract advisors and investors in 2014. A recent report from Morningstar revealed that ETF-managed portfolios saw a 40% increase in assets last year, reaching $96 billion. Other strategies with more than half of their assets in ETFs had similar results. ETFtrends.com explains… Continue Reading

Warren Buffet’s “Fundamentals of Investing”

Investment tycoon Warren Buffet recently shared an exclusive clip from his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, in which he lists the “fundamentals of investing”. Fortune Magazine shared Buffet’s points with the following bullets: You don’t need to be an expert in order to achieve satisfactory investment returns. But if you aren’t, you must recognize your… Continue Reading

The New Approach to Non-Profits

Bankers, investors and entrepreneurs are taking a new approach to philanthropy with finance-focused projects aimed at supporting global causes. “We get good yield,” explains Andrew Harris, an adviser of private equity firms at Forum Capital Partners and vice chairman of the non-profit Resolution Project. “We think it’s very different and, to use a Wall Street… Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Mortgage Business Going “From Great to Good”

On Friday, Wells Fargo & Co. reported a surprising 23% rise in first quarter profit. However, the bank’s mortgage business has showed signs of slowing while net interest margins shrink as well. Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest U.S. bank, has been considered the leading home lender ever since the financial crises. The bank’s recent decline in… Continue Reading

Oasis Investments Limited and Other Financial Firms Expand Throughout Asia

Many financial firms are taking renewed interest in Asia thanks to its recovering economies. Morrison & Foerster, a leading Capital Markets firm in Asia, recently opened its fifth office in the region. The new Singapore branch will be headed by Eric Piesner, managing partner for Asia and head of the real estate practice for the… Continue Reading

3 Concrete Investment Tips to Start 2013

Have you ever thought of taking some of that money you have just sitting in the cookie jar, or in the low-interest savings account, and investing it? The answer is probably yes, and the only reason you haven’t gotten around to it is that you just don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips… Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolutions for College Students

The new year is merely days away, and resolutions abound. Fox Business has compiled a list of recommendations for college students as they struggle with finances, studies and career goals. Consider Student Loans Student loan debt can be paralyzing. It’s important to know the specific policies of the loans and repayment terms. Shelley Solheim of… Continue Reading

Top 5 Business Rewards Credit Cards for Small Businesses

Though not covered by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, business rewards credit cards have a positive reputation amongst small businesses. According to the National Small Business Association, 37% of business owners are relying on credit to cover a portion of their costs. These credit cards feature expense-tracking tools that help organize and monitor company… Continue Reading