What You Can Do to Protect Your Finances From the Effects of Coronavirus


Perhaps the only good thing to come out of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is the realization that we’re all in this together.

We at The Penny Hoarder are committed to bringing you ways to protect yourself, your family and your finances from the spread of the virus.

We’ve rounded up topics that we think are most relevant to the situation we’re all living through right now. We’ll update it regularly to continue to bring you the most recent information.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Finances From the Coronavirus

Regardless of whether you contract the coronavirus or are simply affected by strategies that governments and businesses are implementing to help stop its spread, there are ways to lessen the impact on your finances. 

We’ve broken down our coverage into categories so figuring out how to deal with your finances can be one less thing you need to stress about.

Making Money

It’s tough to survive any crisis if there isn’t any money coming in. 

If You’re a Gig Worker

If you’re a gig worker — think delivery, freelance or ride-share workers — you probably already know that your job is unlikely to provide benefits like sick leave. And by the very nature of the job, you may not be able to work from home.

But some well-known gig companies have announced changes to their policies and app features that are aimed at curbing the spread of illnesses — with some companies announcing paid leave under certain conditions. 

Here’s what workers can expect from gig companies as they respond to the coronavirus.

If You Need to Take a Sick Day

If you’re facing the decision between going to work sick and getting paid that day, it can be tough to listen to the recommendations of the CDC and miss out on a day of income.

It never hurts to know what’s out there. Work-from-home job opportunities abound. Find yours in our portal, updated every weekday.

If you’re faced with the difficult decision of staying home from a job without paid sick leave, here are some ways to make quick money from home, so you can hopefully get a little rest while still making rent.

If You’re a Parent With Kids

So the kids are out of school, daycare and pretty much every other activity. But you still have to work.

It’s not exactly the ideal work-from-home situation, but it is possible to find a balance without losing (most) of your sanity.

Here are seven tricks from successful work-from-home parents for finding that elusive balance between work and kids.

Saving Money

By staying calm and avoiding panic spending, you’ll emerge in better financial shape once the crisis has passed.

How to Prepare for Isolation 

It’s no small matter to stock up on supplies at the same time you may be facing lost income due to quarantine.

Yes, your emergency fund should be there for just such an occasion, but considering we’re not sure how long it will take for the virus to run its course, you may need to rely on that fund for more than the short term. So spend wisely.

We have some suggestions to help you avoid overspending while taking coronavirus isolation precautions.

Stock Up Your Pantry

One way to save money while you’re stuck at home? Not blowing your money on endless takeout and deliveries.

By keeping these nine pantry essentials on hand at all times, you can cook up some delicious meals with minimal effort — that’s particularly helpful if you’re feeling too stressed or sick to produce Insta-worthy entrees.

Investments and Banking

Keeping your money safe — and holding onto as much of it as possible — is important, but remember that this is still a moment in your financial life. Take a deep breath, and check out how to manage your financial accounts.

What to Do About Your Retirement Accounts

If you looked at your 401(k) or IRA recently, it may be difficult to believe, but you shouldn’t panic and sell everything to hold onto whatever money you have left in your accounts. 

Pro Tip

Avoiding the stress of hourly updates on your investments is key to not only a balanced financial portfolio but your mental health, too.

It typically takes the stock market one to two years to correct itself, so a single day — or even a few weeks — of volatility should not change your long-term strategy.

Here’s what you should do about your retirement accounts when the stock market drops.

What Banks Are Doing to Help 

When you’re stressed out, it can be easy to forget a bill’s due date or even how much you have in your checking account. But those pesky late payment and overdraft fees can make a bad situation even worse.

In addition to encouraging mobile banking to promote social distancing, many banks are stepping up to waive fees and help customers experiencing financial hardships.

Here’s a list of banks who have shared what kind of assistance is available for customers affected by the coronavirus.

Dealing With Debt

The decisions you make during a traumatic event could leave you dealing with long-term financial consequences, including a mountain of medical, credit card and student loan debt.

Here are some ways to help you weather the coronavirus pandemic without going into debt.

It’s a stressful time, but making money choices with a clear head — before anxiety or illness can set it — can help you emerge from the other side of this virus without suffering financial devastation, too. Together, we’ll all get through this.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.

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