It’s probably safe to assume that the coronavirus outbreak is impacting your finances. On one hand, you may be spending more, stocking up on food and essentials. On the other, you may be saving on your commute, boutique fitness classes, or your Sunday brunches. And many are seeing our income shrivel up completely whether due to the market, salary cuts, furloughs, or being laid off.
That got our team wondering about what to do with our cash during this crisis, so we called in a handful of experts and trusted brands to help weigh in on money management tips. We chatted with Armine Babayan, a Financial Advisor at UBS in Los Angeles, who suggested taking a pause and evaluating your current financial footing before doing anything.
“The first thing I reviewed with my clients is this…the purpose of the funds in their investment portfolios that I manage, and if we have appropriately calculated their tolerance to risk together,” said Babayan. For those with or without an investment portfolio, Babayan encourages her clients to assess their own financial picture…and that means really looking at what you make, how much you spend, and building a budget that makes sense.
With your personal risk tolerance, Babayan recommends regularly revisiting your budget, regardless of a global pandemic noting that living well beneath your means will offer a stable and consistent lifestyle, should you face an income decrease. For example, if you are spending more than you’re making, reevaluate your short, mid, and long-term financial + personal goals. Especially now, there is an opportunity to revisit your financial goals and shift accordingly, including small steps to curtail everyday essentials that add up over time to fit your needs.
There are countless hacks to cut everyday essential costs like using a non-toxic innovative cleaning system, like Blueland. Their $2 hand soap tablets “are an easy, money-saving way to replenish your liquid hand soap, especially at a time when you’re washing your hands so much more frequently,” said Sarah Paiji Yoo, CEO, and co-founder of Blueland. “We estimate that an average household would save around $40 a year on hand soap by using our tablets instead.” Alongside your cleaning supplies, Babayan also recommends revisiting your budget for grocery goods at the end of every haul to identify hidden, sneaky costs like pre-cut produce or ordering in on a nightly basis. Nick Greer, co-founder of Built Bar recommends you fold in enough protein to your diet without reaching for your Postmates to deliver a late-night dessert ($$$!), and experts recommend reaching for 15g of protein at every meal to keep you satiated and supported whether through affordable protein bars or otherwise.
Another step Babayan recommends is diversifying your income sources, exploring new income from sources other than just your employer including an investment portfolio that can yield dividends and interest income.
Additionally, she reports that “given the current low-interest-rate environment, this can also be an incredible opportunity to save money each month by lowering your interest rates on any outstanding liabilities. By refinancing your debt to a lower interest rate, you can decrease your monthly payment and in most cases pay off your debt much faster than originally planned. This applies to mortgages, student loans, and even the balance on your credit cards.”
**These are the comments of this Financial Advisor only, and not of UBS Financial Services Inc., or its subsidiaries or affiliates,. See http:www.ubs.com/fas-legal for the full disclosure.**