Are you here to improve your financial health? Are you finding it hard to save some cash? If yes, then welcome aboard, you are in the right place!
When the pandemic first hit, things seemed to reel out of control, particularly on the money front.
Businesses suffered, and personal finances went haywire with pay cuts and job losses becoming rampant.
Gradually, as the world came to terms with the biggest health and monetary crisis, it became clear that upending your financial best practices is the only way to survive.
The ones who embraced the habits of saving and budgeting made it through the worst times.
However, things are far from normal yet, and you need to continue working on your financial health to secure it for building a better future.
The best approach right now is to rethink your money goals and create a financial roadmap to keep things on track.
Even as it sounds challenging amid the pandemic, you can still manage your money well and keep yourself financially sound.
Here are some simple money hacks that you can rely on to weather the rough patch and come out strong even through the crisis.
Rework On Your Budget
You may have been listening to this piece of advice throughout the last year.
But the formula for the new budget is pretty straightforward now. You only have to prioritize the essentials at this point, and they include health and safety.
Any expense that goes beyond food, medicines, health, and safety requires a second thought.
For example, it is best to postpone the purchase of a new car or cellphone if the ones you have are doing fine. Steer clear of travel plans, no matter how desperate you feel about stepping out. Avoid frivolous expenses like gym subscriptions, eating out, and splurging on salon treatments.
Create your budget only around priorities and stick to it.
Create A Financial Cushion
The best piece of advice to reset your finances amid the pandemic is by creating a financial cushion with smart savings.
Good budgeting practices get you on track as you can easily squeeze out a few dollars every week by cutting corners.
Start small, and you will gradually build a fund big enough to sustain you in emergencies.
Consider segregating savings by having a separate bank account to deposit every dollar you save.
Keep records of your savings, and you will feel less stressed about an unexpected expense or even the risk of losing your job.
Find Creative Side Hustles
Budgeting and saving are ideal ways to improve your financial health, but nothing gets better than bringing in some extra bucks every month.
Thankfully, there are many opportunities around as everyone is comfortable with the idea of remote working. Assess your existing skill set and find creative side hustles to monetize it.
You can look for freelance writing and designing projects online and make good money with your creative skills.
Those who do not have such skills can do simple things like filling online surveys or picking data entry projects, but even these can bring in dollars. Keep up with social media because you can find some good opportunities and ideas here.
Seek Expert Guidance
When you are going through hard times, it always makes sense to seek guidance and support.
Even if you may not find someone to help you with money, good advice can keep you afloat.
Look for a money buddy you can rely on to discuss your money concerns and ask questions about savings and investments.
Entrepreneurs can join Peer Groups to connect with others facing the same challenges and resolving them with creative solutions.
If struggling with personal finances, talking to a financial expert can make you more confident about managing your money. They can direct you about the right decisions and save you from the wrong ones.
Prioritize Debt Repayment
It is quite likely to have accumulated debt burdens to sustain in 2020, and clearing it should be your top priority this year.
The best time to start repaying is right now because the last thing you will want to face is getting stuck in debt for years to come.
Evaluate your current debts and create a plan of action to repay them gradually.
You will probably not be able to clear them quickly but getting a head start matters the most.
Make room in your monthly budget to pay off a bit, and you will get rid of the loans sooner than you expect.
While clearing off the loans should be on your wishlist, make sure that you do not borrow more this year.
Work On Long-Term Goals
The situation is tight, and day-to-day survival may sound challenging, but it is just the right time to work on long-term financial goals.
While you cannot think about buying a house or retirement planning right now, it makes sense to break down the long-term goals into smaller steps and take one step at a time.
For example, you may ideate a specific sum in your retirement savings but think about saving a part of the amount every year.
Do not forget goals like estate planning and healthcare planning because they are probably more important than anything else right now.
Take a realistic approach to goal setting, and you will be able to secure your financial health for the long haul.
Don’t Give Up
The road to recovery seems long, and giving up may be apparently the only option.
But it is the last thing you should do amid the tough time.
Stay committed to the goal of achieving financial wellness and take small steps towards achieving it.
Make it a family initiative where everyone contributes the way they can.
Your spouse may help by making extra income for the household with a side hustle if she isn’t working full-time. Ask the kids to cut down on expenses where possible.
Financial downturn is a reality during the pandemic, but things will look up eventually.
You only need to hold on and make conscious efforts to manage your money with the right approach towards saving, spending, and budgeting.
A little effort can take you a long way and open the road to a secure future.
** This article is written by Saara Green, all views and opinions expressed are her own.
Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.