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Making Ends Meet: Financially surviving COVID-19

Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 06:00:36-04

The COVID-19 Pandemic is not just hard on those who have the virus, but those who were impacted by it financially.

"It is difficult," Mary Luquette, a finance instructor at UL, said. "All financial planners will tell you to have at least three months income for unexpected circumstances. Now everyone knows what an unexpected circumstance is."

Many people already live paycheck-to-paycheck and saving is just not an option for them. Luquette said it may not be, but there are other ways to make it happen.

"Unfortunately, most people have not had that ability or for whatever reason could not," Luquette started. "At this point the idea is to take an assessment of where you can get money. Do you have a tax refund coming in? You can use that refund to negotiate a loan with the bank. You can look at whatever savings you do have and if you have a whole life policy you can take a loan against it. If worse comes to worse, and you have no other option, maybe there is a family member that can lend them the money. Pending there is a payback schedule."

With the stock market going up and down, Luquette said people should try and avoid taking or borrowing from their 401K.

"Some people think, "I have this pool of money, I can take from my 401K," she said. "You withdraw, you are taking a hit. Right now the market is going up and down and the amount is fluctuating. It is paper money, it is not real money. It only becomes real when it is withdrawn. You put a dollar amount on what is taken out. I don't like to borrow on a 401K because you are jeopardizing your future. This can happen again in six months, ten months, or ten years. We don't know."

Luquette added that this is not the time to be shy. She said if someone finds themselves in financial trouble, they need to speak up. Ask around to see what assistance is available to help.

While these may be trying times, Luquette said it just take a little financial discipline to get you back where you need to be.

For additional information on how to get help during the Covid-10 Pandemic:

KATC.com/rebound

What food assistance is available in Acadiana