If you’re like most people, you’re reading this stuck inside while the entire world is quarantined.
Sure the kids are out of school, gyms and restaurants are closed, and sports are canceled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.
We asked financial experts for their best advice for people stuck at home.
Increase your Credit Score
Logan Allec, Founder Money Done Right
If you are stuck inside during the pandemic, then another great financial goal you can accomplish is increasing your credit score.
Even though you are stuck inside your house because of the coronavirus, this has nothing to do with your ability to actively raise your credit score.
You can open additional accounts, figure out how to pay off balances, transfer balances, take out a loan where you lend yourself money to boost your score, etc.
Actively working to increase your credit score takes time, and there is no better time than now to raise your credit score while you are stuck inside your house with plenty of time for projects.
Commit to Getting Out of Debt
Stacie Heaps, Finance Blogger, Families for Financial Freedom
You will be in a much stronger position financially during economic downturns if you are debt-free. Go through your paperwork and online accounts, and make a list of all of your debts. Then determine the order that you want to pay them off (either smallest balance first or highest interest rate first).
Figure out how much you could pay extra toward that debt by creating a simple budget and cutting expenses where you can, and diligently work to pay off that debt. Then work on the next one, and then the next one, and so on.
Compare your Bills and Insurance Products
Holly Andrews, Managing Director, KIS Finance
If you’ve always wondered whether you’re paying the right price for your broadband, energy bills, or car insurance, now’s the perfect time to sit down at your computer and check everything out. If you haven’t changed any of these providers for a while, you could find you’ve been paying a lot more than you should have been.
Using an online comparison website will allow you to see all the available providers, and the website will often rank them in order of price, so the cheapest option should be at the top of the list. If this isn’t your current provider, then switch to them if you can. You may be tied into a contract with your current provider, but note down the day you can switch in your diary and make sure you do it then.
Review and Revise your Budget/Spending Plan
Kristan Borghesan, Director of Marketing, Savology.com
Now is the perfect opportunity to sit down and spend the proper amount of time you need to properly revisit and review your spending plan. You’ll want to do this to make sure that your spending habits are aligned with your goals and values, but also that you are cutting out any unnecessary expenses and making more room for your savings and padding your emergency fund.
Create a Will
Renee Fry, CEO, Gentreo
Get your estate planning done! You can now affordably and securely do it from home with online tools created by attorneys. Everyone over 18 needs to do this, but most of us avoid it.
Today, according to Merrill Lynch, only 55% of Americans have a will, and only 18% of Americans have a complete estate plan like a health care proxy, power of attorney, and documents to cover pets too.
Choose software that specializes in estate planning such as wills, health care proxies or powers of attorney, and more as these are very often state and situation-specific.
Create a Budget
Becky Beach, Finance Blogger, MomBeach.com
Consumers stuck at home can create a budget using Mint.com. Due to several people losing their jobs, having a budget is extremely important. Mint connects to your bank account and populates categories of spending automatically. You can see what expenses you need to cut in order to stay within your budget.
File your Taxes
Cyrus Vanover, Founder, Frugal Budgeter
One thing you can do if you are stuck at home this week is to file your income taxes. Although you have until April 15 to submit them, it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and finish them since you have some free time. Filling out all of those income tax forms is never any fun, but if you do them early, you can finish them early and enjoy spring without having to worry about that chore.