We need to start by thinking about keeping ourselves, our loved ones and those in our communities safe.
Social distancing and staying at home are things we’re doing to flatten the curve, or more simply put, work to ensure we don’t all get sick at the same time and overrun our healthcare system.
On top of those essentials, here are some financial things to do.
Freeze your credit.
During times like these, cybercrime can increase. Protect yourself by freezing your credit, meaning it can’t be used or accessed. This doesn’t mean you can’t use a credit card or existing line of credit, it means new credit cannot be applied for. Should you need to apply for new credit, you can simply unfreeze your credit. Simply put, it puts a layer of protection in playce. To do it, you’ll need to contact each of the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion individually to freeze your credit:
- Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or go online.
- Experian: Call 888‑397‑3742 or go online.
- TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or go online.
Check your credit.
You can get a free copy of your credit report at FreeCreditReport.com and make sure everything is as it should be. If there are problems, it’s better to find out asap.
Do you own any assets in your personal name like a house or rental real estate? Consider using LLC’s or trusts to protect yourself. In times like these, lawsuits can increase.
How well do you know your money coming in and your money going out? There are fewer things more important than knowing this. Do you have a household budget? How often are you reviewing it?
Cash on Hand (I’m sick of saying emergency fund).
How much do you have? I think and know everyone of us needs to get to six months cash on hand. That means six months worth of expenses. Figure out what your number is.
How can you get to six months of cash on hand? How long will it take you? It may not be easy to answer those questions.
When you’re looking at your cash flow and your budget, where can you make changes? Will you need to make big changes or small ones? If you don’t currently have six months saved, are you willing to make the kinds of changes you need in order to get there?
It’s possible, you can do it. Get started.