Managing Money Disaster

How to Manage Your Money During a Disaster

Life is full of twists and turns. Crisis situations like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lead to uncertain times and unexpected changes. Unfortunately, these unexpected changes can be extremely challenging for our day-to-day lives.

Here at Pelican, nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our members—mentally, physically, and financially. That’s why we offer the products and services that we do even through times of crisis and hardship.

No matter what life throws at you, it is important to be both prepared and proactive.

Our team of Nationally Certified Credit Counselors has compiled a list of financial tips and resources available to you to help you manage your finances during uncertainty.

Have a question about your finances or budgeting and want to get an answer?
Contact our credit counselors to schedule a call!
Smart Money Management Tips:
  • Start by assessing your current situation. Do you have enough liquid savings to cover groceries and necessities for at least 14 days? If you have an emergency fund, now is the time to put it to use. You can make a quick list of the supplies you will need and create a budget to shop for the essentials. Once that is done, save the rest in case something else comes up or if your stay at home is extended.
  • Work your budget. If you currently have a monthly budget, now is the time to revisit it and see where you can cut back and move money to more important areas like groceries and cleaning supplies. If you’ve budgeted $50 a week to go out to eat or the movies, that money can be better used for essential items. If we’re at home, and businesses are limited, we won’t be going out much anyway, right?
  • Only get what you need. Use your essentials list to shop for supplies and only purchase things you really need. Be thoughtful by leaving food and supplies for others.
  • Control your spending, especially credit card spending. By only buying what you need, you’ll be able to have your credit card to use in case of additional emergencies. Don’t max out all of your options on one shopping trip. If you’re at home, don’t spend too much time online shopping unless it’s for items you need or were already budgeted.
  • Cash in credit card rewards. Contact your credit card companies to determine what rewards you can cash in. Many companies like Pelican offer gift cards for gas ,and some card rewards even allow you to put cash toward your next credit card payment. Credit card rewards can be an extra way to find a little extra money in your time of need.
  • Clean out your freezer. You may have many meals ready and waiting to be cooked right in your freezer. Sometimes we forget what’s in there—especially if it’s buried all the way at the bottom! See what you have on hand before making a trip to the store for supplies. You’ll save money and leave more at the store for your neighbors to buy if they need it.
  • Stay in contact with your creditors. If you are out of work due to businesses shutting down or other disaster-related issues, contact your creditors before they call you. Companies know and understand that people may need a little help during a crisis. Many creditors have disaster plans in place allowing for skipped or deferred payments and even emergency relief loans. It never hurts to be proactive and ask for the help upfront. Your creditors will appreciate you for it!
Resources:
  • If you’re in the greater Baton Rouge area, you can call 2-1-1 to get up-to-date information on a number of various resources. From homeschool lunch programs to workforce development, 2-1-1 can help. You can also find resources here: https://www.211unitedway.org/
  • Looking for ways to keep the kids busy so you can work from home? Check out these lesson plans from Scholastic Books: Free 20 days of Lesson Plans
  • Running low on meals with the kids at home? Check out your local school board websites for more information on bag lunch programs throughout the school closures. Here’s a few in our branch areas:

Do you know of other resources? Share them in the comments below!