Financial Dos and Don’ts During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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Since the coronavirus has landed on American shores, each day seems to bring new developments about the state of our economy. It can be difficult to figure out what steps you should be taking to protect your personal finances.  Below are practical dos and don’ts to help you maintain financial stability and peace of mind during this time.

Don’t: Panic by selling all your investments

Both seasoned investors with robust portfolios and those simply worried about their retirement accounts can find it nerve-racking to see their investments drop in value by as much as 10 percent a day. It may seem like a smart idea to sell out just to spare investments from further loss, but financial experts say otherwise. According to The Motley Fool, most sectors of the economy will recover quickly as the outbreak clears.

Do: Trim your spending

The thriving economy the country has enjoyed for a while has prompted a gradual lifestyle inflation for many people. As the economy heads toward a recession, this can be a good time to get that inflation in check.  Trimming discretionary spending now will be beneficial for making it through the next several months, especially for those with a smaller income. It’s also a good idea to squirrel away some of that money for a rainy day.

Don’t: Put your money before your health

Financial wellness is important, but physical health should always take priority. If you’re feeling unwell, and especially if you’re exhibiting any of the symptoms of the coronavirus — such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath — do not go to work. Don’t let financial considerations come before your health and the health of those you come into contact with each day.

Similarly, doctor visits can cost a pretty penny, but when necessary, should always outweigh financial concerns. A co-pay or insurance deductible is a small price to pay for your health.

Do: Consider a refinance

The silver lining of an economic environment like this is falling interest rates. As of April 22, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.57%, down from approximately 4.5% of a year ago. Refinancing an existing mortgage at this lower rate can potentially save homeowners several hundreds of dollars a month.

The coronavirus has already impacted the economy tremendously, and will likely continue to do so for a while. Keep your own finances safe by remaining calm, putting your health first, and taking some of the practical steps mentioned above.

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