NORFOLK, Va. - The pandemic has drastically changed the financial situation of many Americans over the past year.
There are signs of improvement, though.
Virginia's unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in February, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
With another round of stimulus checks recently sent out and many due for tax refunds soon, Maria Tedesco, President of Atlantic Union Bank, says this is a good time for people to start resetting their financial goals.
"Reflect on what you did well and what you can do better for the future when it comes to financial stability," said Tedesco.
The first place she suggests starting once you're able to - rebuilding your emergency fund.
"I mean, who could have ever imagined what we've been through this past year?" said Tedesco. "It's just crucial to have an emergency savings during an unplanned life event."
The goal is to have enough money to support yourself for at least three to six months.
The next place you should direct your money is high-interest debt.
"If you're able to pay off that, you'll save on payments throughout the coming months, providing a long-term boost to your bank account," said Tedesco.
Tedesco says another step people should take is going over your household budget to evaluate where you can save and where you can afford to spend.
Finally, set long-term savings goals for things like a house, education or wedding.
"These can be real motivators for savings," said Tedesco.
April is Financial Literacy Month. You can find more resources for rebuilding your financial security by clicking here.