Stress is the name of the game during this global pandemic. From taking on the role of educator for their children to losing time at work because of business shutdowns and cutbacks, people across the globe are feeling the strain. On top of this is the daily risk of contracting a deadly virus that has killed over two million people worldwide.
Most people don’t have more than two or three months of income set aside in their emergency fund. For those who are feeling the pandemic’s financial crunch, finding relief isn’t always as easy as being able to get a same day loan. If you have been able to keep your job and have money coming in regularly, there are a few smart moves that you should be made to help you survive the pandemic.
Your priority should be to take care of your most essential expenses, including rent or mortgage, utilities, and groceries. Let’s take a look at a few smart moves that you can make with your money during the pandemic.
If you don’t already have an emergency fund, now is the time to think about starting to put money away. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that nothing in life is certain. Even with vaccines on the way, there is no way to tell how long things will continue for and what life will look like after it is all over. It’s a good idea to set aside as much money as you can quickly. Three to six months’ worth of salary can help cushion your bank account if you need to ride out a financial crush.
CREATE A BUDGET
Most people tend to live outside their means. The pandemic has shown us that financial security is more flimsy than we think. If you want to add some stability to your life, it’s time to take a hard look at your spending. Track all of your expenses for a few weeks to give yourself a clear look at where you can make some cuts. Your most important expenses like housing, utilities, and groceries should be a priority.
Once you have a budget, it will be easier to see where money is being wasted and make some changes. If you are spending a lot of money on take-out and expensive daily coffees, it’s time to start brewing and cooking at home. You can reduce your utility bills by turning down your thermostat and putting on an extra sweater. Talk to your coworkers about carpooling and save extra cash on gas.
NO NEW DEBT
When tough financial times hit, it can be tempting to borrow what you don’t have. In fact, an economic downturn is not the time to take on new debt. Try to avoid adding to your existing debt, especially in areas where there are high-interest rates like your credit cards. Focus on continuing to pay down your debts. If you are struggling financially, talk to your current creditors about negotiating a new repayment plan that will be easier on your budget.
TAKE ON SIDE GIGS
Many industries have been forced to cut back during the pandemic, but some jobs are still available as side gigs. Searching on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Craigslist can help you find part-time jobs where you can earn some extra cash. Use your car to make some extra money by signing up with a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft.
The global economy has taken a hard hit during the pandemic. Although this has been tough on many people, it has also created a unique investment opportunity for others. If you have some extra cash, now is the time to get in on stocks that have taken a temporary dip.
The world is in a very uncertain place, and it can be stressful to cope during tough times. If you are still working, or have an emergency fund, consider using it to make some of these smart money moves during the pandemic.