While it’s been a challenging year for many with plenty of worries, health concerns, and general uncertainty, it is important to always find the silver lining and make the most of what is a difficult situation.
With the majority of us spending more and more time at home, many have been using this time to learn new skills and accomplish goals – and achieving financial goals shouldn’t be any different! Here are some tips to help you get your finances in order and put you ahead.
Save, save, and save some more!
If you can, of course. Not everyone will have the luxury of being able to put aside money each month, but if you are lucky enough to be in a stable job, now would be the best time to add to your savings and prepare for the future. The more money you have saved up, the better, especially as we don’t know what the future will actually bring. Set aside a certain percentage of your weekly or monthly earnings and put them straight into an emergency fund savings account. Remember, you aren’t saving to cover luxuries such as vacations, entertainment, or dining out, but to tide you over and give you some breathing space should anything happen, such as a sudden loss of income. It’s normal to save up to a month or two worth’s of income at first, then work towards funding six months, and then a whole year’s worth of expenses. While it takes time and sacrifice, the relief of knowing that you have back-up funds to keep you going should the unexpected happens is priceless.
Use your time wisely and make some extra cash
Even if you are working from home, chances are you likely have a lot more time on your hands than you usually would. Make the most of it by getting creative and make some extra money on the side to add to your savings, such as freelance writing, tutoring online, or turning a much-loved hobby into a small side hustle.
Cut back on your spending
If there is one silver lining to be taken from the pandemic, it has made it a lot easier for some to save. After all, with closed bars and restaurants and canceled entertainment and travel, you are probably spending much less than you were before Covid-19 hit. Cancel any memberships that you are no longer using and target other areas in your monthly budget that you could cut back on, such as take-outs and cook at home instead. Only buy new clothes if they really need them (after all, most people are making good use of their loungewear) and cut back on travel where you can to lower your regular expenses and boost your financial health.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Last but not least, it’s okay if you make mistakes or your progress is slow, so remember to go easy on yourself. Getting through a pandemic is tough enough as it is, and money matters tend to be emotional, so it’s completely understandable to slip up every now and then or even to treat you from time to time. As long as you are doing your best and taking small and proactive steps in the right direction, any progress is better than none, and you will thank yourself further down the line. However, if you find yourself in financial difficulties, there are plenty of people you can turn to for support, including counselors, financial planners, and programs such as the DTSS review.