4 Money Tips for Newlyweds During COVID-19
Are you a newlywed couple? Congratulations! It may feel odd celebrating your new adventure together during a global pandemic, and it can be even harder when you aren’t surrounded by loved ones. But First Tech can help you navigate your new reality and invest in your future together. That’s why we’re offering some financial advice to keep your relationship strong during challenging times.
1. Invest in each other As a new couple, you were probably trying to align yourselves on financial goals even before this mess began. Buying a car, a house, or choosing retirement investments can be confusing even in the best of times. For now, prioritize each other and stay connected and supportive partners.
Try getting creative with stay-at-home date nights, and support each other’s self-care needs. Providing little acts of kindness and spontaneous romantic gestures can become happy memories for your time as newlyweds.
2. Temporarily put aside the long-term Even after we all emerge from isolation and the world begins to recover, we won’t be back to normal immediately. The economy could take many months to rebound, and the spread of COVID-19 could potentially peak again. No one has a crystal ball and can see into what the next six to twelve months will look like. Consider pausing the long-term financial goals that you had set for yourself and your partner, if possible. Although they may not be actionable this year, you could put yourself in a great position to come back stronger next year. For the time being, make sure you are taking care of your needs here and now—and then feel free to revisit those long-term goals again when the dust has settled.
3. Shift your focus to small wins Now that we’ve tucked away our long-term goals in a safe place, we need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself the following:
What can I realistically accomplish today?By the end of the week? In a month?
What does my family need most now to succeed during this time?
What does success look like for our family in this constantly evolving crisis?
While this is obviously not an exhaustive list of all the questions you can (and should) ask yourself, it’s a way to get you thinking about what’s truly feasible in the near-term and avoid getting stressed out about the bigger, long-term goals that may have started to weigh you down. Shifting your focus to small wins also shifts your perspective on success: by creating realistic goals for you and your spouse to accomplish in the near-term, you also create new and meaningful opportunities to celebrate success over and over again. Positivity in this time goes a long way.
4. Be prepared in case of a loss of income This is an unprecedented time, and layoffs and furloughs are not uncommon. Don’t get down on yourself if this applies to you, instead there are proactive ways to address the situation. If you have an emergency fund, it can help cover you when other income sources disappear. If you don’t have an emergency fund, now might be a good time to start building one.
Make sure to have grace and patience with yourself and your partner. A loss of income can create relationship strain, but you can work together to get through this rough patch even stronger.
Applying for unemployment Workers who are laid off due to COVID-19 restrictions are eligible for unemployment, which can help replace some of your lost income. Most states enable you to claim unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. Normally, there's a one-week waiting period, but some states are now waiving that for those who have been affected by COVID-19.
Re-evaluate your spending If there are any discretionary spending items left in your budget, you might want to consider cutting them to help make ends meet. You can also make small changes to help decrease your essential costs, like lowering your thermostat or the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees. Consider limiting how much you travel, both for public safety reasons and to save on transportation.
Talk to First Tech about hardship relief First Tech offers a special Emergency Assistance Program to aid members that are experiencing financial hardship. Each situation is unique, so we’ll work directly with you to develop a plan that fits your life. We want you to know you’re supported, no matter what life throws your way. Additionally, we provide educational tools to help you make the most of your resources. For this and more please visit firstechfed.com/financialcare.
No words could be truer right now. Just remember, whatever challenges you’re facing today, everyone is affected by COVID-19 and the drastic change and stress it has brought. Perspective is key. External stressors can take a toll on a marriage, even the really strong ones. When there’s friction, tell yourself “This is very stressful for both of us. We are each doing our best.” At the end of the day, your best is all you can do.
And now more than ever, let’s be inspired by the ephemeral wisdom of Mister Rogers: "Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak."