Good financial habits to develop now and keep after the COVID-19 pandemic ends

For many Canadians, daily routines are being disrupted and lifestyles are changing considerably as a result of the coronavirus and COVID-19. While it may be difficult to maintain the kinds of positive financial habits we practice during less challenging times, there are some steps you can take to develop positive financial habits right now. 

Many of us are never as ready as we'd like to be for the unexpected. But being mindful of your finances and how they have changed, while working on a financial plan that addresses your new reality, can help you take more control of your financial situation.

Below is a list of four ideas for bringing positive financial habits into your life during this challenging time:

1. Revisit your budget

Budgeting is a good habit to develop for keeping yourself financially ready for the unexpected, and can help you manage difficult situations. An up-to-date budget – especially when your circumstances suddenly change – can help you prioritize expenses while helping identify ways to reduce your spending. Although fixed expenses generally remain constant, you can revisit your budget to review other expenses you may be able to reduce for the short-term.

2. Track your spending

Using an online app like TD MySpend to track your spending through your TD deposit and credit card accounts, can help you to monitor categories based on "needs" such as groceries and home expenses, as well as "wants" such as shopping and special treats. While many of us are seeing big shifts in our spending habits as a result of working from home and physical distancing, it can be helpful to see exactly where your money is going to ensure you're spending on the things that matter most to you.

3. Stay focused on the future

Don't forget your long-term financial goals. While recent circumstances can make these seem difficult to reach, it's a good idea to stay in touch with your financial advisor to help you continue to work towards your long-term goals, while still attending to your more immediate needs. 

4. Build an emergency fund 

If you are able to start to or continue to contribute to an emergency fund, consider doing so. Even small contributions add up over time. Consider setting up a recurring transfer to a savings account that you can easily access in the event that you need the funds.