Saving money during the coronavirus outbreak

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic.

Even with stimulus checks dispersed to citizens, many are still struggling to stay afloat because they don’t have an emergency fund.

Dr. Becky Smith, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Economic Education and Financial Literacy Department explains saving is not priority in some people’s minds.

“Even a couple of decades ago we didn’t really have to save. So it’s a new skill really that most of us are still learning.”

According to Smith, less than 50 percent of Mississippians have an emergency fund. She said now is the best time to save through a bank or credit union, which will keep your money securer and protected from inflation.

Smith to start an emergency fund, start putting up money little by little. She said often times people take about 10 percent of their check, unless they have two household incomes, then it could be less.

However starting somewhere will help track spending habits and find ways to “pay yourself for the future.”

“Whatever you’re thinking about spending, divide that by the amount of hours it would take you to earn it and kind of weigh, is it worth it for me.”

If you’re more hands on, Smith suggests using phone applications like Mint or spreadsheets.

“Really if you do it for a week, if you do it for a couple of weeks, do it for a whole month, then you can see that spending pattern, and see what’s actually going out.”

Smith is holding a “Managing Finances in Stressful Times” webinar Friday, May 22 at 10:00am.

If you can’t make the webinar, check out these other resources:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, click here.
  • Consumer Financial Cash Flow Calendar, click here.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, click here.
  • Mint, click here.

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