What you can do to stay afloat financially during COVID-19 pandemic

Tips on making ends meet
Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 17:40:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- When it comes to making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic, for some it’s nearly impossible.

CBS 6 reached out to a few personal finances experts to offer a few tips on what you can do, especially if you have lost your job.

"Absolutely everyone of those people need to be budgeting," said Toni Mullins, a personal finance coach. "Step number two, cover your bare necessities. After you cover your necessities, set aside as much money as you can in an emergency fund and eliminate your discretionary spending."

Discretionary spending includes Items you normally would splurge on like new clothes and shoes.

Mullins tells CBS 6 the best thing people can do right now is knowing exactly where the funds you have now are going and keeping track of them.

"You know we're living in a unprecedented global pandemic. Nobody really knows how to deal with it. If you can get control of such an important aspect of your life such as your finances, that impacts everything. So getting control of that, you're going to feel so much better about what we're dealing with."

If you're looking for other ways to free up some cash in your budget, Mullins suggest looking at what items you no longer need at this time.

"Is that really a necessity to have Hulu Live for $55 dollars a month? Probably not," she said.

And even if you filed for unemployment, you may have to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to bringing in more money.

"You really have to get creative and think about other places that are hiring right now. Make it your job to find other sources of income. If you know how to sew, you can make masks and sell them on Facebook," said Mullins

Mullins warns against taking out loans and forbearance program that could end up putting in a worse position than before.

She even suggests downloading Every Dollar, a free app to help you keep track of what your spending during this time.

Whether you've already received your stimulus check or are waiting for it, experts want you to challenge yourself by not immediately spending all the money.

Muni Fujah, an economics and personal finance teacher for Henrico Public Schools, said even though classes are not what they used to be, she's using whats happening financially in so many lives today for her virtual classes.

"My course, we're actually benefiting from something like this because this is real life," said Fujah. "So, being able to challenge them and say hey we're not in the classroom right now, but what can you learn from this?"

Fujah says everyone's situation is different right now, but she urges everyone to reevaluate before spending.

"Don't feel like the check has to go to every single payment or be available for everything you need to spend on," said Fujah. "But being able to save that money, for any other emergencies that we may have. Its really good to make sure that we have something."