After months of sheltering in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, life seems to slowly be getting back to normal. Businesses are opening back up, people are going out to eat again and the coronavirus seems to be relegated to a footnote news item.
However, health experts throughout the world are warning us the pandemic isn’t over. According to them, we likely haven’t even gotten through the first wave of COVID-19, and experts are saying that we’ll see a second wave of COVID-19 cases after the first wave has died down. In other words, COVID-19 may peak again.
If this happens, it’s hard to predict what steps we as a society will have to take to combat the spread of the virus. However, we can tell you what steps you can personally take that will not only help prepare you if a second wave hits—it will help you come out ahead even if the second wave never arrives.
Keep Up Social Distancing Practices
First things first: Keep practicing social distancing. Keep six feet apart from people if you go outside, and wear a facemask everywhere. Doing this will help slow the spread of the coronavirus, and if everyone does it the second wave of COVID-19 may not even arrive.
Build Up Your Emergency Fund
If you haven’t taken some time to prepare yourself financially for an emergency, now is the time to do so. Make sure you have a healthy emergency fund, for starters, with at least three months of salary in it. You can also go through your budget, cut down on unnecessary expenses and add that money to your savings account.
You may also want to talk with your financial institution about taking out either a personal line of credit or a home equity line of credit, just in case you do have a medical emergency. You can use these lines of credit to pay for any emergency spending that arises, and you only need to pay interest on the amount you borrow.
Rewrite Your Budget
If you have a budget and have been sticking with it, congratulations! Remember, however, that budgets are not set in stone. You’ll want to regularly review your budget and adjust it, ideally every month.
Reviewing your budget is even more essential as the pandemic goes on. You’ll need to know which of your plans has been disrupted by the coronavirus, and you’ll want to figure out what to do with the money you’re not spending on those events.
Maybe you can use it to pad out your savings, or perhaps you can use it to come up with a nice staycation for your family. You could also buy something nice you’ve been wanting, or even save the money and treat yourself and your family to an awesome vacation next year.
While everyone is waiting to see what happens next with COVID-19, don’t forget to take some time to take care of yourself. Even though it feels as though life is starting to return to normal, there’s still a lot of reminders that COVID-19 is still a threat that could rear its head at any moment. That can take a psychological and physical toll on anyone.
Self-care can be different for everyone, but here are some good universal tips:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Exercise daily
- Indulge in things you enjoy, like cooking your favorite foods or watching a TV show you like.
- Do something you’ve always wanted to try
- Take some time for yourself each day
Prepare for the Future With First Alliance Credit Union
COVID-19 is scary for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that we don’t know whether there will be a second wave or not. However, taking some time to prepare and take care of yourself will help you be ready for the worst, and leave you in a better place if the worst never happens.
You can also use several of the financial products that First Alliance Credit Union offers to help you prepare for the future when you become a First Alliance member today. You can feel confident knowing that your money is safe in traditional savings accounts, talk with our lending advisors about refinancing loans and use our online and mobile banking app to keep track of your finances.
Want more information? Listen to our Good Money Moves podcast episode about managing money in uncertain times.