As we practice social distancing and businesses struggle to adapt, it’s no secret the unique challenges of COVID-19 are profoundly shaping our economic climate. U.S. Bank financial industry and regulatory affairs expert Robert Schell explains what you need to know in this uncertain time.
Imagine clicking the pause button on your favorite TV show. Whether you stopped to make dinner or put kids to bed, hitting pause gives you time to tackle what matters most. Today’s economy is similar. While we prioritize health and safety, typical activities like driving to work, eating at restaurants, traveling and attending sporting events are on hold. This widespread social distancing takes a toll on our economy, putting strain on businesses and individuals alike.
Keep your financial habits as normal as possible during this time. Make online purchases, order takeout, pay bills and buy groceries. These everyday purchases put money back into the economy and prevent it from dipping further into a recession.
It’s tempting to jump into action when the stock market dips and money is tight. But remember: your money is a long-term investment. The market will naturally fluctuate, but financial decisions should be made strategically when the time is right. You may want to stop saving money, dip into your retirement savings, or start selling stocks – but this could cause you to lose money in the long run. Instead, keep saving and spending as normally as your circumstances will allow. And talk with a financial advisor for personalized guidance.
In March, the Federal Reserve cut rates drastically to boost economic activity and make borrowing more affordable. For you, this means interest rates are low for credit cards, loans and lines of credit, and even fixed-rate mortgages. Consider taking advantage of these low rates if you need extra help paying your bills, keeping your business running or withstanding a period of unemployment.
Looking to make a positive impact? Supporting small businesses is an easy and powerful way to help. You can order takeout, tip generously or donate to your local brick-and-mortar retail store, if they provide that option. Your support makes a big impact for struggling business owners.
The thriving economy of 2019 isn’t just a distant, bittersweet memory. When our health is no longer at risk and social distancing mandates begin to diminish, we’ll slowly start to rebuild. The stability, low unemployment rate and upward-trending market we experienced prior to COVID-19 puts us in a good position to kick-start economic activity and rebound more quickly.
If you have questions about your finances during this unique economic time, we’re here to help. Click here to learn more about how you can safely bank online, by phone or in-person at a branch.