Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Most Americans have been affected in some way by the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And even though many of us have returned to work and the economy is reopening, there's still much uncertainty.

Even so, this is actually an excellent time to take a deep dive into your finances and make some moves that could help you save more, earn more and be better prepared for whatever the future holds.

Here are some simple yet impactful moves you might want to consider: 

Save-more moves

1. Know your credit score

Interest rates are low right now, which means it may be a good time to borrow. Since you need a solid credit score to take advantage of these rates, it's smart to know your credit score and work on boosting it as needed. But if it's in good shape right now, you could reduce your interest spending on a car loan, mortgage or other borrowing.

2. Open a joint account

If your credit isn't ideal, or you want a larger line of credit, consider opening a joint account with someone else, like a family member or spouse. A joint account could help you gain access to a larger credit line at a lower interest rate, and if you manage the account properly, you could improve your credit score.

3. Open the accounts that work best for you

Having bank accounts that align with your daily financial needs can save you money. If you use ATMs frequently, a checking account with low or no ATM fees could result in significant savings. If you do most of your banking online, an online-only checking account could be a more affordable option than a traditional account.

4. Automate everything

Late fees can do real damage to your budget and credit score. But by automating your monthly payments using online bill pay, you can make sure your bills are paid on time. You can also set up automatic transfers from your checking to a savings account to help you build an emergency fund almost effortlessly. 

5. Place alerts on your credit card

Have a tendency to impulse-buy with your credit card? Consider putting an alert on your balances so you know how much you can spend. Most credit cards allow you to put controls on your card in online account management. By limiting your per-transaction or daily expense limit, you'll have to think twice—and make online adjustments to your account—to complete a large purchase. If you make it harder to spend, you might not spend.

6. Maximize rewards

Rewards programs are popular because they can deliver substantial savings. The key is to understand your program and how to make it work for you. The good news is most credit cards come with online tools that make managing your rewards programs easy.

Earn-more moves

7. Get a side gig

Whether you want to supplement your income, build your savings or pay down debt, getting a side gig can add much-needed dollars to your monthly budget. Although COVID-19 has disrupted some parts of the gig economy, such as ride- hailing services and short-term rentals, other sectors are still doing well, such as delivery driving and remote freelance gigs. 

8. Sell your stuff

As brick and mortar retailers struggle and cost-conscious consumers look for deals, secondhand and thrift markets are booming. Get in on the action by cleaning out your closet, liquidating your record collection or re-homing your unused electronics. Online selling sites and money-transfer apps can make it easy and safe to connect with buyers and complete transactions.

9. Get bank accounts that work for you

As mentioned previously, you can get accounts that work for you and can save you money. They can also earn you some as well. If you keep a large balance in your checking account, an interest-bearing account could help you earn money. And, shopping around to get the best rates on your savings can result in additional earnings as well.

10. Revisit your retirement accounts

Many people tend to put their retirement accounts on autopilot, meaning they don't actively manage their accounts to maximize earnings. Now would be an excellent time to review how your retirement funds are invested and make adjustments to help you earn as much as possible.

Make your move

Making financial changes during uncertain times can be scary. But making even some small, strategic money moves right now could go a long way toward helping you be better prepared for tomorrow.

The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.

Links to third party sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. BBVA USA does not provide, is not responsible for, and does not guarantee the products, services or overall content available at third party sites. These sites may not have the same privacy, security or accessibility standards.