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Road to Financial Wellness- Building Financial Resilience


Road to Financial Wellness- Building Financial Resilience

The road to financial wellness is never ending, and at times it can be rough. If there’s one thing that has the ability to negatively impact millions of people financially, it’s a global pandemic.

Over the last few years, we’ve all seen first-hand how the pandemic has affected everything from our work lives to our social lives, and definitely our financial situations. COVID-19 has almost entirely shifted the way we live, work, and interact with just about everything. We’ve made it through the initial phases of the pandemic, and in some aspects, things have found their new “normal.” But for many people the financial impact of COVID-19 never went away, and the struggle continues.

Managing your finances while you’re still trying to recover from a major financial hit can seem like a losing battle. We’re here to tell you that is doesn’t have to be! Even in the toughest of financial times, there are different resources available and ways that you can make it through. When times get tough the best thing you can do is become more resilient, and that means financially too.

Review and Renew Your Budget Often

It may seem redundant, but every time your financial situation changes you should review your budget and make adjustments. If your finances have changed, you can’t maintain the same monthly budget and expect it to work itself out. You need to readjust things to fit your new situation. Make your new budget and stick to it every time. Becoming financially resilient means having the ability to make adjustments and react when changes occur to allow yourself to stay in control of your finances.

There are budgeting tools and apps today that can help make it much easier for you to create and update your budget. What’s even better is that you’ll always have access to your budget, right on your phone, so you can review it or update it when it’s most convenient for you.

Hardship Adjustments

Many different companies became willing to make policy adjustments based on hardship due to COVID-19, which for many people, is still an issue even in 2022. Check with your creditors (credit card companies, auto loan provider, etc.) to see if they have any options for hardship adjustments based on your situation. You may be able to change your payment amount, due date, or interest rate based on your financial needs.

National and Local Government Programs

National and local government programs are still in place for those affected by COVID-19. There are even different programs available for servicemembers and older adults and their families or caretakers. There is also a program in place for renters to help with making rent payments.

Do Whatever It Takes to Save

Building up some kind of emergency fund is still not an option, it’s a necessity. Even if you are struggling financially, you have to start sometime, even if it’s only a few dollars at a time. If there’s anything we should have learned from COVID-19 it’s that disaster can strike at any time. America Saves has a great resource center with tons of helpful tools.

Start by opening up a savings account. Once you have your account set up, if you’re worried you won’t be able stick to your goal, set up automatic deposits into your savings account. This way, you don’t even have the option to decide against it. You can set up automatic deposits from your checking account or through direct deposit from your paycheck. You can start with a small amount and then you can increase or decrease it as needed until you find what works best for you.

One sure way to maximize your savings is to open a savings account that earns interest. Not only will you be saving up money, you will also be earning interest on what you save. Citizens Savings Bank offers several free checking accounts that pay interest on the balance.

Stay Financially Informed

Being in control of your finances means you need to understand them. Even though overall financial literacy has increased since the pandemic, roughly 4 out of 7 Americans are considered financially illiterate. This is not something that most Americans can help, considering the fact that financial literacy just wasn’t part of our educational curriculum. Now that we all understand the importance of financial literacy and education, things are starting to look more hopeful for future generations, with individual states slowly starting to add these requirements to their curriculums. But for those of us that missed the boat, it’s not too late! It’s just that its up to us to take the initiative.

Becoming financially literate isn’t something that happens overnight, but you can learn something every day and begin to build your knowledge over time. Today, there are tons of great resources available to help you learn about almost any financial topic you can think of.

Make a commitment to grow your knowledge at your own pace. Start by subscribing to a few helpful personal finance newsletters, tune into a personal finance podcast while you do household chores, or devote 30 minutes each night before bed to reading a few articles.

Building financial resilience, even in the face of a pandemic, is possible, but it takes a commitment from you. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, turning to a trusted financial professional for help can be a great idea. At Citizens Savings Bank, we’re always here to help.

Learn More

Citizens Savings Bank has multiple locations throughout Lackawanna, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. For branch locations and hours, visit our website. We also have a Customer Support Team ready to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1-800-692-6279 or email [email protected]. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.