We have all been impacted by the unprecedented times of COVID-19. While it has been far from easy-going through social distancing and now adjusting to our “new normal,” there are several positive lessons we can take away that can actually benefit us financially in the long run. Here are just a few:
Savings are important
When the economy is good, it’s easy to feel confident and spend all that you make. But the sudden financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 closures is a chilling reminder that there are no guarantees of an income and building a good emergency savings account is critical.
So how much do you need? A good rule of thumb is to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This might seem impossible to do right now but just saving a little bit at a time adds up. It’s also important to put the money away in a separate checking or savings account that you won’t be tempted to dip into.
Gratitude is the best attitude
COVID-19 has forced us to press the pause button on our lives and to be grateful for what we have right in front of us. Family, friends and good health are so much more valuable than anything money can buy. Even if some parts of life are challenging right now, there is always something that you can be grateful for.
If you haven’t already done so, take time to think about all of the little blessings that you have each day. You may be surprised how this simple attitude change can lead to increased financial blessings in the future.
Staying home saves money
As our city slowly begins to reopen, it can be beneficial to evaluate how your spending habits have changed while in quarantine. No one wants to be cooped up forever, but you’ve already saved money on gas, food and entertainment by simply staying at home. Moving forward, you’ll want to get out more, but perhaps eating out less and cooking more will be habits you’ll want to keep. Those little things can add up to real savings over time.
You need a lot less than you think
Living with less doesn’t have to be a bad thing. While spending more time at home, have you noticed that you simply don’t need a lot of the stuff that you have? Using the supplies you have on hand before running to the store on an impulse, or thinking twice before clicking “add to cart,” can do wonders for your bank account.
Unnecessary fees and subscriptions are a thing of the past
Now is a good time to reevaluate your music subscriptions, gym memberships and any other monthly fees you regularly incur. How many of these services do you truly utilize? Are any offering refunds or a temporary suspension during these trying times? Make sure you’re not paying for something that you’re not receiving or using.
Talking about money is essential
If you’ve been impacted financially by COVID-19 economic shutdown, your family may be talking more about money. But in many cases, beginning this discussion is a taboo or uncomfortable. However, once the door is opened, the conversation can flow and new ideas can emerge. Now is a great time to make sure you and your loved ones are all on the same page when it comes to finances. Create a realistic budget that the whole family can buy into, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with.
Planning for your financial future is critical
COVID’s impact on jobs, savings and retirement accounts has made it essential for us to take a fresh look at how to increase our income and plan for the future. Do you need to make up for lost savings or perhaps it’s time to discuss a career change? Whatever your current challenges are, the recent economic trials have opened up new doors make the adjustments needed for a successful financial future.
As you can see, even in times of challenges and hardships, the lessons we learn from them is the silver lining in the clouds. We wish you the best as you use these lessons to create a better life!