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Pandemic financial strains begin smart money moves

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The importance of saving took a different meaning after financial situations changed due to the pandemic.

The unemployment rate recently dropped to a little over 5%.

This is following a big decrease in July.

Living paycheck to paycheck was normal for some Americans. As jobs were lost and hours were cut, that became a reality for more people.

Now, jobs are slowly filling up, but some people that are filling those jobs are still behind on bills or trying to get to a comfortable place financially.

Lori Norris, financial advisor and certified financial planner, said budgeting is the advice she gives to anyone trying to regroup after the financial strains the pandemic brought.

“Sometimes, it is a really good visual tool. Put it all on paper, see where you are at now,” said Norris. “See where you need to be, even see what kind of pay you need, even though you may not get that. But, I think just budgeting. There are so many online tools.”

She said it is common for people to try to get their finances back to a point they remember before something like the pandemic.

Norris said finances are a journey so making a plan helps, but sometimes, emergencies happen that we cannot plan for.

“Now, yea, the pandemic was a lot worse than a lot of us anticipated, and when you are planning for your life,” said Norris. “You try to plan for those little emergencies. Nobody could have planned for a pandemic.”

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income went up about 0.2% in August 2021.

It has helped increase disposable income and savings for many people.

Norris said recently more of her clients have become more aware of saving money. They are separating what is needed and items they can hold off on until they have more money to spare.

More people are going back into the workforce.

Norris said she is glad to see people taking an initiative and saving some of their money.

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