Taking care of your financial health after a natural disaster is one of the most important household priorities. One of the main concerns arising after Hurricane Maria is the service of existing debt along with the accumulation of more debt. It will not be easy addressing these concerns and frustration may ensue. For those unemployed, it is imperative to manage cash and debt. There may be difficulty in acquiring a loan from the banks.
Create an Emergency Fund
For those still employed, reset your priorities and make some sacrifices. We all realize the importance of having a cash security in the event of unexpected situations. You may follow any of the saving plans posted to the page. An emergency fund should have a value of at least sic (6) months of all major expenses.
For those unemployed, analyze your financial position and if possible, set aside a reasonable amount that will assist you in the upcoming months. There is no certainty that you will regain employment in the short term, therefore safeguard yourself and your family against upcoming expenses.
Be Mindful of Loan Deferrals
The financial institutions and lending agencies have offered clients a few months’ payment deferrals in order to assist with finance management. However be mindful that interest on loans will continue to accrue. That means, upon the new due date, the client has to pay the accrued interest as well as the present month installment. If you are in a position to continue loan payments, please continue to do so. You would not want to incur financial disaster when the new payment is due. If you choose to defer the payment, set aside some cash monthly that will contribute to the upcoming payments.
Do Not Abuse Credit Cards
As with loan deferrals, please not that interest of credit cards continue to accrue. The banks have an obligation towards VISA & MASTERCARD to pay the fees, therefore it is difficult to waive the interest due. I understand the need for cash in the short term however, be wise to minimize the use of credit cards. Only accumulate debt which you are able to manage in the short term.
Bills and Creditors
Ensure all utility bills are up to date. Also visit any creditors to update or request a change in payment plans. Do not let your bills accumulate as this may lead to financial instability in the long term. If possible, sign up for a POSTPAID cellphone plan as this will help manage one of the most common recurring expenses.
About Finance Focus
Finance Focus serves as a medium to help individuals realize their financial objectives. Advice will be provided on personal finance including budgeting, investment strategies, savings and available financial products. Financial news will also be discussed.