The advent of the novel coronavirus pandemic, also known as Covid-19, was a challenge to the world on an unprecedented scale. It brought along far-reaching effects, especially to the economy. The first step for most governments was the limitation of movement in varying degrees. This led to the closure of many businesses indefinitely. As consumption reduced, many businesses had to lay off staff as one of their steps to manage the effects of Covid-19. With a majority of people now relying on their savings and unemployment relief from the government, everyone has to reconsider their finances. Here are seven smart ways to manage your finances during Covid-19.
Re-evaluate your expenses: The first step in managing your finances is reevaluating your expenses to determine which are necessary. This is an ideal time to shed off extra or unnecessary expenses. This can include expenses such as multiple streaming services and comfort expenses such as new games. Identify the expenses that are necessary for your safe survival and prioritize those over other optional expenses.
Consider your available finances: If you have had a job for some time, hopefully, you have kept aside some savings for a rainy day. This can include your savings and investment options that can be liquidated. Consider how much of this can be put towards your immediate provisions. It is important not to drain your savings and other finances just yet. Identifying the resources will give you an idea of what you are working with.
Apply austerity measures: Part of smart management of one’s finances during this period is taking every measure to save some money. This will help utilize the available funds wisely to while the pandemic rages on. This means favoring homemade food over takeout and fast food. Since you will be home anyway, it is a good idea to learn new recipes and fill in the long days learning new skills.
Explore your options: During the pandemic, local and federal government agencies and lending institutions are running programs to help individuals get through the pandemic. If you are currently out of a job, pursue the unemployment benefits options early to avoid missing out. If you have outstanding bank loans, contact your lender to know what reliefs are available to you. Even some landlords have been giving tenants rent breaks so do not be afraid to reach out if you need it.
Expense tracking: As it has become more important to budget and strictly follow the set budget, it is important to utilize planning tools to ensure adherence. This involves using apps that track every expense to help you realize what takes up most of your expenses. This can help in future planning and reduction of expenditure where possible. This can be through simple spreadsheets or more advanced apps such as Clarity Money and Wally.
Dispose of unused items: Every so often, while cleaning we notice things in the house that we no longer need. However, realizing that it might take more time than we currently have, often end up procrastinating. Now that you are home, is the ideal time to identify and dispose of things you do not need including appliances, clothes, and that junk in the garage. Some of these items can be resold online to support household bills or donated to charities. Such cleaning can also lead to the discovery of a forgotten hobby or craft such as painting or sewing which can be used to generate income.
Online work: Whether you are unemployed or working from home, you can earn extra income through online work. The pandemic has seen the growth of freelance skills such as writing, graphic design, consulting, and other tasks that can be completed online. Using sites such as Upwork and Fiverr, you can bid on projects that vary from short gigs to long-term engagement. These are ideal as they do not require investment apart from time and practice.
While being money conscious to economically survive the pandemic, remember to take care of your physical and mental health. This will help you remain focused on the larger issue without having to worry about yourself. Where possible, also help the less fortunate through donations to charities, homeless shelters, and elderly care homes.