Are you struggling to stay afloat and remain financially stable?
If you have a family to take care of and bills to pay but you can’t seem to meet up, you’re not alone.
It’s tricky enough to learn how to manage your finances as a couple, and adding in a global pandemic can leave you feeling even more uncertain.
If you’re experiencing the financial effects of a crisis, know there are ways you can ease the impact.
To help, here are seven ways couples can remain financially stable during a crisis:
7 WAYS COUPLES CAN REMAIN FINANCIALLY STABLE DURING A CRISIS
#1 Practice Consistent Communication
A crisis can introduce added stress and strain to any relationship, which is why open communication is crucial during economic hardship.
In general, it’s important to ensure you’re both on the same page regarding your finances and personal needs in order to improve your relationship during crises.
When discussing your finances specifically, be sure to address concerns like job security, budgeting, and managing debt.
Be prepared with several talking points so you can get a holistic idea of your financial situation.
By listening to each other’s concerns and maintaining open communication with your partner, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and set yourself up for a better financial future.
#2 Leverage Your Assets
If your budget is tight and you’re looking for ways to free up more money, you may be able to leverage assets like your car or home.
For instance, you could refinance your outstanding loans to secure lower rates, change their terms, or reduce monthly payments to help ease the financial strain.
You could also take advantage of any equity you’ve built up in your home over time.
If you’ve been paying down your mortgage, you may have a considerable amount of tappable home equity.
That means you might qualify for an equity loan, which can be used for debt consolidation or financial padding during a time of need.
Before applying, however, you’ll want to make sure you can afford the monthly payments, so you don’t end up in a worse financial situation.
#3 Cut Down on Expenses
During a crisis, you should always know where your money is going especially if you want to remain financially stable and not go bankrupt.
Create a list of your monthly expenditures, and see where you may be able to trim your expenses.
Are you paying for more cellular data than you use? How often do you actually use streaming services?
If you find that you’re spending more than you need to, you could temporarily cancel or downgrade these services to put money back in your pocket.
Make sure basic necessities like housing, utilities, and groceries are covered first and then determine which non-essentials to shave off.
Overspending can easily occur on everyday purchases made by both spouses. You can cut these expenses by enrolling in cashback programs that pay you when you shop.
Eliminating or reducing spending might be difficult at first, but it will put you in a more favorable financial position in the long-run.
#4 Review Your Joint Accounts
Chances are you and your partner have at least one account that you share, whether it be a savings account for household expenses or a credit card.
Keep in mind that you’re both liable to maintain these accounts, which is why you should both be aware of their balances.
If you want to remain financially stable, you have to take the time to review each balance and determine how you’ll keep them in check.
Make sure you’re in agreement about how each account should be used and discuss your spending habits to ensure you avoid taking on too much debt or dipping too far into your savings.
Setting spending limits and establishing a budget may be particularly helpful in keeping these accounts under control.
#5 Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is designed to help support you through economic hardships and cover unplanned expenses like medical emergencies or job loss.
It’s recommended that you have anywhere between three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved up. However, it’s okay if you don’t have this much on-hand.
Instead of going to fancy restaurants and shopping at expensive stores, you can decide to have romantic date nights at home or shop at cheaper stores.
With this adjustment, you will be able to funnel some of these foregone expenses into your savings.
You could also look for alternative ways to bulk up your emergency fund, such as taking on a second job, applying for unemployment if you’ve recently been furloughed or laid off.
Putting your recent tax return into savings is another option to consider.
#6 Adjust Your Insurance Coverage
A global health crisis may be a good time to review your health insurance plan.
Double-check that you have the appropriate coverage should you or your partner face any health complications during these times.
If you lack an adequate plan, consider investing in a more comprehensive policy so you’re prepared in case one of you falls ill.
Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy, taking note of deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenses.
Then, aim to save enough money to cover both of these expenses should you need to.
If you are out of work or struggling financially, you could also look into government-backed insurance policies.
The best way to substitute your income is to create a side-hustle that you can easily do at home.
#7 Work With a Financial Advisor
Once you’ve had the money talk with your partner, you’ll have a better idea of your situation and how you plan to tackle your finances together.
However, you still might be unsure of the best way to handle your money.
For a second opinion and advice on how to proceed during economic hardships, consider working with a financial advisor.
A financial advisor will be able to help direct your decision making when it comes to spending, budgeting, retirement planning, and investing.
The right advisor will have your best interest, so sure to research and prospect several potential candidates before choosing one that suits your needs.
Even in uncertain times, you and your partner can keep your finances in check.
With these tips, you can work together to protect your money now and remain financially stable even in the future.