Coronavirus certainly has split the nation when it comes to money. Economic stress dominates for many of the 9.5 million employees who are on furlough, also potentially facing unemployment due to the virus’ inciting of this situation, along with those whose small businesses have been disrupted or whose finances were unstable prior to the virus manifesting. Rising concerns about these anxieties have put concern about how to manage personal finances in the spotlight.

The good news is that budgeting could be less complicated than you thought. Here are a few tips for surviving your current financial rut.

1. Saving: Set Up an Automatic Transfer

The easiest way to monitor your budget is to set up some type of system to save a portion of your income each month. Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account on the first of each month and you’ll have a constant supply of cash on hand without overburdening your current checking account. Additionally, you will not have to worry about staying on top of money due to the fact that it’s no longer deposited in your checking account.

2. Investing: Consider Gold

Gold is in high demand as the economy remains unstable. For instance, it will be an excellent hedge against negative economic changes. You can invest small amounts of money here and there when possible, or put a larger lump sum into gold to spread out the risk. This will depend will definitely depend upon your financial stability. The best decision is one you’re comfortable with, so pick what’s best for you. Remember, the value of gold is stable, whereas company stocks can dip in value.

3. Retirement Contributions: If you Have a 401k, Mark Your Coins

You do not want to miss out on contributing to your retirement, even if you’re out of a job. While you are on COVID, you want to make sure you are still participating in your 401k or 403b, if possible. If this isn’t an option, contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA. You want to anticipate the time when you will no longer be on COVID, after which time you will want to put in as much money as possible. The more you contribute now, the better off you will be when you retire.

4. Limit Borrowing: Stop Using Your Credit Cards

Credit card interest is very expensive and it is too easy to rack up debt on one of those. The extra interest that you pay on credit card debt will inevitably outweigh any extra cash you might receive from swiping it for something like sushi. You must refrain from using your credit cards until you are done with furlough.

5. Spending: Do not Rush Back Into the Rat Race

You are not as desperate as you were, so do not waste money on new clothes or a bunch of new stuff. You’ll also find yourself shopping more often just to make yourself feel better. Save yourself some time by putting that money into savings instead. And, most importantly, pleasurable vacations and pricey restaurant outings should be put on hold. The next time you go to the movies or to happy hour, you might actually be ready to pay for these once-every-so-often luxuries.

However when you find yourself under extreme economic strain, and you know you have a bad credit score by now, you might want to find a bad credit loan lender to solve your financial difficulties. Though it may seem like a last resort, financial distress may necessitate this.

Conclusion: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The most valuable thing to keep in mind when living from paycheck to paycheck is to not succumb to the temptations that have undoubtedly manifested over the last few months. It is important that you stay on a budget so that you do not lose all the progress you have made in the past. Do not lose sight of the bigger picture and think about the future. Make sure that the present does not impact your future plans.