Personal finances is a great concern for many residents, and Canadians, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an Angus Reid study, 37 per cent of people polled across Canada who've lost their job reported not being able to cover an extra $100 expense in the next 30 days.
With this in mind, Meridian Credit Union is offering some advice for residents to help gain more control over their finances.
Jonathon Kelly is a Senior Wealth Advisor from Meridian Credit Union who works across Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph.
He says personal finance concerns vary among families, individuals, and business owners.
"Depending on the lifecycle that they are in, there have definitely have been a broad range of concerns, but the financial institutions and government programs in place, it's more about educating them on those opportunities." said Kelly.
With cash flow a common concern, Kelly says residents should consider applying for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which offers temporary income to those who've stopped working due to COVID-19.
He says CERB was recently updated to allow part-time employees, seasonal workers or anyone who made $2,000 last year to apply.
Besides government programs, Kelly says there are other programs residents can look into to help off-set other costs.
"Individuals and families should also turn to their financial institutions, who have been quick to setup programs to respond to this." said Kelly, "Even credit card companies are offering payment defferals."
Once residents are able to secure short-term cash flow, Kelly says they can save more money during this time by reviewing their current expenses.
"With social distancing, the hope is that we can save a little bit on our costs." said Kelly, "Maybe you don't use as much gas, or you stop paying to go to the gym. You save a little bit here and there."
Finally, Kelly recommends residents check in with their financial advisor to review their financial plan or come up with a plan to help manage their money during the pandemic. A second perspective during a stressful time can help residents to make better financial decisions in the long-run.
"I think it's important to have a good relationship with your financial advisor or institution during this time because this is when you need them the most." said Kelly, "That relationship enables you to pick up the phone, get reassurance, and get the information you need because it's coming out quickly."
For more information or to learn more about Meridian Credit Union, go to meridiancu.ca.