Emergency situations, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, can be very stressful. You may experience loss of income and face difficulties in making ends meet.
But there are things you can do to manage your finances and make things easier for you and your family. Here are three useful strategies to get you started.
- Have a budget. Having a budget is key for all circumstances, especially when you’re trying to manage through an emergency. It will help you assess whether you can keep up with your bills and maintain your current standard of living. If you need help, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s online budget planner is a great resource.
- Be proactive by seeking help. If you’re having trouble paying your daily expenses or foresee financial challenges in your future, be proactive by seeking help.A good first step is to contact your financial institution. Discuss your situation with them. They may be able to defer the payments on some of your credit products, like your mortgage. A financial professional, such as a licensed financial advisor or an accredited credit counsellor, can also help you develop a plan to deal with an emergency.
- Borrow credit responsibly. During any uncertain period, try to avoid borrowing additional money as much as possible. But, if you must borrow, only borrow what you need and look for products with low interest rates and fees. Make sure you compare all your options and their fees, interest rates and repayment terms before choosing a credit product.
Learn more about how you can maintain good financial health during challenging times at canada.ca/money.