Working from Home? Check Up on Your Financial Health

Working from Home? Check Up on Your Financial Health

Jacqui Kearns, Chief Brand Officer

As companies across the U.S. do their part to curb the spread of COVID-19, a significant subset of the workforce is now working from home. It’s not without challenges but it does offer several perks – including the privacy (and perhaps extra time now that you’re not commuting) to finally check off a few important personal finance items from your to-do list.

Person holding tablet

Here are four things you should do now to safeguard your financial wellbeing for the near future.

1. Check your credit report.
Knowing your credit score isn’t enough; you need to dig deeper to ensure your credit history is accurate. Every year, you can request your credit report for free from each of the three major U.S. credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Make sure no fake accounts have been set up in your name, fact-check late payments and account balances, and more.

2. Verify account fees.
“Social distancing” and “flattening the curve” are impacting our daily habits. It’s likely your levels of activity – physical and financial – have slowed. Double check your minimum monthly requirements on checking accounts and credit cards. Affinity does not require minimum opening deposits or minimum balances on our MoreSavings accounts, and no minimum deposits on our checking accounts. However, other financial institutions may have these fees, and while maintaining a certain balance or meeting withdrawal or purchase quotas may have been non-issues a month ago, circumstances have changed. Avoid paying unnecessary penalties.

3. Reevaluate your budget.
Is your money going where you want it to – and need it to? Pull your credit card and bank statements from the last three or four months. You might find some recurring expenses that surprise you, or categories where you’re spending less (or more) than you originally planned. And now that you’re spending more time at home, reset your spending/savings goals and budget for today’s reality.

4. Move some money around.
Now that you’ve realigned your budget, consider moving more money into savings – especially If you’re among those whose income hasn’t been disrupted. Also, if there’s a possibility you’ll receive a COVID-19 stimulus check from the government, consider depositing the amount into savings. Make use of accounts with higher interest rates, such as the SmartStart savings account. Same goes for your Federal tax refund. Whatever you do, don’t drain your accounts and hide the cash under your mattress.1

As our self-quarantine status continues, spend some of your “free time” on your personal finances. By taking these steps now, you’ll help ensure your financial wellbeing is safeguarded in this time of uncertainty and beyond.

For additional information and updates from Affinity about COVID-19, please visit https://www.affinityfcu.com/banking/we're-here-for-you.aspx

                                                   

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.  

1 Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/18/economy/banks-cash-coronavirus/index.html