Currently across the US and world people are doing their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus by staying home and self-isolating. This will hopefully flatten the curve and the rate of people being infected by COVID-19, but as we are all asked to do our part, the economy has also practically shut down. The unknown is terrifying and that is why We All Grow Latina, which is a network for Latina entrepreneurs, experts and healers, launched We All Grow Amigas to share tips and advice from leading ladies across all industries.
The free seminars kicked off with Ramona Ortega’s Managing Your Money in a Time of Crisis chat. The My Money My Future founder had some very insightful tips to help with financial planning during this pandemic that she shared with Ana Flores, We All Grow Latina’s founder and CEO. “The silver lining in all of this is so many more people are starting to think about their finances,” Ramona says. “[They are] asking the questions and looking at their portfolios. That has always been our focus so people are always thinking about their money so when something like this happens, you are already prepared.”
Keep reading for some of her key points from the seminar that will benefit us all in the short and long term.
“How much money do you spend? How much money do you need a month to survive? Look at your emergency savings, you should have at least three to six months in an emergency savings account that is cash or what we call liquidity to cover major expenses. You need to know what those are.
“Understand your portfolio and making sure you have enough diversity in your portfolio… not all your eggs in one basket essentially… Things like life insurance, a lot of us have parents who are boomers or getting older so right now there is a real interest in making sure you are taking care of your parents and get everything in order in case something happens to them. That’s one of those things you want to be prepared for before a crisis.”
Keep your cash
“In terms of your bills, you don’t want to be paying, for example, double payments and paying down debt right now. What you want to do is get on the phone with your credit card companies and ask them to either reduce interest rates and/or ask for deferred payments... When you do that also make sure to not be charging interest rates during the deferment. When you negotiate interest rates, I would say, ‘Given the federal reserve rate is zero percent, I would like to see if I can get a reduction in my interest rate as it pertains to my credit cards.’ You can ask for 10, they may give you 5 or 3. You want to at least try to get 3% reduction on your credit card rates.”
Check all other loans
“You can do this with auto loans, student loans or any other personal loans you may have with a bank right now. You will see a little bit of a reduction in your payments because the interest rates should be dropping for you. Also ask for your internet/cable and phone bills, you can get on the phone to ask to reduce those. It will take a while to be on the phone with people but do that.”
Do not touch your money
“If you are in a 401k, do not touch your money right now. If you do, you will actually be selling low. We’ve been in a bull market which means the stock market is going up. We are now in a bear market which means stocks are going down. Hold, don’t touch it and do what you have been doing. It will go up over time… You also want to max out your 401k if you have a steady job and you will continue to work. Make sure you are maxing out that 401k and getting the free match.”
“Make sure you have enough cash on hand. That money should be first put toward your emergency savings – the three-six months, especially if you are a freelancer or you have your own business and you have contracts. I’m worried that the big companies will be pulling back contracts.”
For the full seminar, watch it here.