With all that’s going on in the world, many people are re-evaluating their financial plans, and the often-advised emergency account feels much more necessary. Given this rapid shift, many people now find themselves wishing they’d built up their savings in more certain times. Fortunately, all is not as dire as it might seem. Even as the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, there are still ways to enhance and extend your savings.

Pinching Pennies in a Pinch

The current global situation is unprecedented, but uncertain markets and economies under duress are not a new phenomenon. Throughout history we’ve seen recessions, but we’ve also seen recovery. While this coronavirus may be novel, the financial challenges it presents are not — saving, budget management and investment strategies are all still achievable. Here’s how:

1. Focus on the Future

Warren Buffett advises that he can’t make money by trying to predict what’s going to happen next week or next month, but he can make money by predicting what will go on in the next 10 years. In times of economic uncertainty, rash reactions are natural, but it may beneficial to bunker down and think long-term.

2. Don’t Panic

Historical investment advice says to stay the course, even when the market takes a turn for worst. The prevailing logic has always been that the market and your investments will rebound.

3. Set a Savings Goal

Most experts agree that a good place to start is three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Consider spreading that amount across multiple accounts — some easily accessible and some in a high-yield account.

4. Keep it Simple

Use tactics like automatic transfers, savings apps and even trusty old change jars to take the stress out of savings and make it into a habit. Small steps such as these help simplify the process, which will lead to big savings over time.

5. Trim the Fat

It never hurts to audit your accounts and unsubscribe from autopay services you’re no longer using. You may end up with more money in your pocket every month if you cut out services you no longer use.

6. Plan Your Shopping

With a little extra thought, you can make a lot more of a trip to the grocery store — grab generic brands when you can, buy in bulk and split with friends, or clip coupons. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save.

7. Celebrate Small Victories

Budgeting can be a challenge under the best circumstances, and in a pinch it can feel suffocating. Treat yourself with something small every so often. Grab an ice cream cone with the family or rent that new movie you’ve been wanting to see. A careful budget is essential, but a rigid one is more difficult to maintain.

Facing down savings challenges can be daunting, even at the best of times, but we’re always here to help! If you or someone you know has been impacted by COVID-19, our customer relief program is one way we’re showing our support. Read up on the details here. Stay safe!

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