The coronavirus outbreak is affecting our lives in many ways and is canceling or postponing many events and activities. But how does it affect your money? Here are tips to keep your finances safe.

WalletHub.com has come up with several tips you might want to check out if our on-going battle with preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota is starting to make you-- or your finances-- a little nervous.

Their first tip is a simple one, but one that probably impacts me the most: Use credit cards, not cash. I don't usually carry much actual cash on me (because I end up spending it!) so I'm already used to using our check/debit card quite a bit.

But in these days of the quickly-spreading COVID-19, using your card instead of cash makes even more sense. Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at the financial website, WalletHub, explained it like this:

“Though there’s not much evidence to show that touching cash spreads coronavirus, it’s theoretically possible, and the Federal Reserve has been quarantining banknotes from Asia. China also burned some of its currency that had been circulated through the Wuhan area,” Gonzalez said in an email.

“Using a credit card’s contactless capability may help give consumers more peace of mind. Plus, credit cards can be used for online purchases, allowing consumers to avoid shopping at crowded stores. In addition, consumers that decide to stock up on essential items and spend more than usual in the coming months can recoup some of that expense, and get some extra time to pay, by using a rewards credit card,” Gonzalez also noted.

Additionally, Gonzalez noted that if you're facing financial hardship brought on by the coronavirus, you might try asking your bank or financial institution for assistance, in the form of forgiving payments, lowering interest rates on credit cards or loans, or getting fees waived.

She also noted that checking into and taking advantage of travel insurance, if an upcoming trip has been canceled due to the coronavirus, can sometimes help you get some of your money back.

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

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