Financial stress affects Canadians of all income levels and age groups. If you're worried right now, you're not alone. Lena BouSaleh, Servus Credit Union Branch Manager, has helped her members through many situations. From mortgages to debt relief, she's been through it all. Here are her tips to help your family stay financially, and emotionally, fit throughout the pandemic.
Lena BouSaleh, Servus Credit Union Branch Manager, talks about the impact COVID-19 is having on families, and the steps they can take to stay financially (and emotionally) fit throughout the pandemic.
Budgeting tips for families
1. Understand your financial situation
An advisor can help you develop concrete financial strategies that fit with your family’s current situation. Even a quick call with your advisor is a great first step if you’re not sure where to start, or if you are feeling uneasy about your finances.
2. Look for free online activities
Look for free activities to do with your family online. If you have a business in mind, follow them on social media or visit their website.
- Stream workouts from gyms offering them through their Facebook or Instagram accounts
- Tour museum and art galleries like Glenbow From Home
- Visit the zoo through Calgary's Daily Dose at Home tours
- Learn virtually (for children and young adults) through Junior Achievement Southern Alberta and Northern Alberta
3. Beware of panic and compulsive buying
While you're at home, you might be tempted to do more online shopping. When you're physically shopping in stores it's easier to see how many items you're buying, but shopping online can become a passive activity where you end up spending more money than you mean to. Try these tips to curb the extra binge-buying:
- Keep items in your cart for a full 24 or even 48 hours (take a financial fitness minute- see Tip #4)
- Be resourceful—can you find it cheaper, on sale or used?
- Buy local: is there a similar item from a local business that likely needs your support more than a big chain?
4. Take a financial fitness minute
Before going through the online checkout, take a minute and ask yourself if the purchase is needed right now. The financial fitness minute will help to minimize compulsive and panic buying habits. After taking a minute, you can also determine if a more expensive purchase is something you can budget for—instead of overloading your credit card.
Reach out to your financial advisor and start the conversation about where your family is at financially, and what has changed since the pandemic started. If you bank with Servus, we have financial relief supports to get you started or contact your Servus advisor directly.
Taking the first step is often the one we put off—but know Servus stands with you during this difficult time.