How much money do you need to spend to prepare for coronavirus or another emergency?
The answer is: probably not as much you might fear.
If you’re reading headlines, watching the news, and talking to friends, you know that people are starting to ask themselves what they need to prepare for the potential spread of Covid-19 in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best thing you can do is prevent exposure to the virus—please take a moment to review the CDC recommendations.
Before your wallet takes a beating in a shopping spree, here is a roundup of some of the expert guidelines.
If you’ve already gone to the store and seen the empty shelves where hand sanitizer is usually sold, there is a cheap-and-easy solution: Make your own.
You can do this with aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol, according to this formula on WikiHow. A 32-ounce bottle of generic Isopropyl rubbing alcohol is $1.99 (Target.com) and a generic clear bottle of aloe vera gel is $4.99 (Target.com).
The number one action experts are recommending as of early March is practicing good hygiene in the form of regular hand-washing. Here are guidelines from the CDC on handwashing technique.
Stay the course. Fears around Covid-19 rattled markets at the end of February (along with other factors according to analysts)—but experts generally recommend staying the course with your investments even when markets get bumpy.
However, this is a good time to shore up your household finances and make plans for any potential income disruption or future bills. This could be where your emergency fund will need to come in handy.
If you’re planning to travel, consider travel insurance though read the fine print as exclusions could apply. Short-term disability insurance might be another type of insurance to consider, but again there could be exclusions.
Health insurance—and medical bills generally—will likely be a growing issue as the impact on public health becomes more clear. According to the New York Times, a day-long stay in a hospital costs $4,293 on average.
Also take a moment to consolidate money that your various accounts into one pot (such as a high-yield savings account), or reviewing with friends and family your plan if someone does get sick.
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