COVID-19 pandemic has changed many people’s financial circumstances very quickly. These unprecedented times have led to uncertainty in markets, declining economies, and rising unemployment rates all across the globe. Obviously, these consequences of the pandemic crisis led to concerns about the future and fear of reduced income in all of us.
According to Statista, on a scale of one to ten, where one represents “no impact at all” and ten represents “severely impacted”, the average level of the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on personal finances among Americans was 5.2.
Moreover, a recent survey from IPSOS found out that a large share of people across the world strongly agrees that the ongoing pandemic will have a financial impact on them or their families. According to the survey, 57% of the respondents in the US agree with the potential economic consequences of the COVID-19.
Yet, this current crisis will eventually pass. Until then, however, we all have to take a few steps to manage our budgets sensibly. Here’s what you can do to protect and manage your personal finances during the COVID-19 lockdown:
Use technology to manage your finances
One of the top strategies in adequately managing your finances is always to keep a budget and be aware of your spending and income.
Now, as the COVID-19 crisis has brought some severe changes in your finances, the budget you had so far may no longer be relevant. It is time to re-evaluate your family’s budget and sort your expenses as per relevance.
The good news is that you have some strong allies that can help you calculate your current financial situation and determine which expenses are a priority and which aren’t.
All you have to do is to download a budgeting app, such as Mint, Trim, or Wally, and use it to create a budget. These types of apps can help build your budget for you based on your current income, your debts, and even your future financial goals. Moreover, they can offer some great insights on opportunities to save some money, which is highly recommended by financial advisors in today’s uncertain times.
You can also set up bill reminders which will make the app send you notifications to pay your bills on time. Moreover, you can also connect your savings account to the app and have the desired sum of your income directly generated into your savings account.
Keep paying your bills
Utility bills, like gas, phone, or electric, have always been a priority in your budget. However, paying your bills during a lockdown can be difficult. Most offices, where you can make payments to the providers, are closed these days due to social distancing restrictions. However, now, you can use online banking to handle your finances from the comfort of home.
We strongly suggest embracing technology today to keep making payments because if you don’t, debt will pile up and will eventually make things even more complicated for you. Therefore, do your best to keep paying your bills. If you, however, are not familiar with online banking, reach out to a friend, a family member, or even a neighbor who can help you make payments.
However, if you financially struggle to pay your bills, you can contact the companies you owe money to and discuss your situation. With many of their customers being unable to make payments, most companies have implemented special payment flexibilities for customers experiencing hardship during these uncertain times.
Find side gigs that you can do from home
The COVID-19 lockdown left many people unemployed. As governments issued social distancing and lockdown restrictions, many businesses have closed their doors during this pandemic crisis. Also, some companies moved their operations online, where possible, and others have reduced the work hours for their employees to protect them from taking the virus.
Whether you are currently unemployed, working from home, or working fewer hours than usual, your monthly income definitely took a hit. However, no need to despair, you can still earn some money while at home during the lockdown.
The side gig industry is thriving right now as more and more employers look for freelancer professionals who can work remotely. So, all you have to do is to determine your skills and look for side gigs that can be done from home. For example, if you have excellent English skills, you can offer English lessons online. Or, if you like writing or blogging, you can become a content writer.
Taking a side gig while staying at home during the lockdown can really help you cover some of the financial loss your budget suffered.
Don’t make huge financial decisions
Stress and anxiety don’t go well with huge financial decisions. When you are feeling stress or anxiety, you may make poor financial decisions.
Now, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for many of us, the challenges we are dealing with today had a significant impact on our mental health. The fear of getting infected with the virus, losing our jobs, and even the changes in our lifestyles made our mental wellbeing take a hit. Therefore, now more than ever before, we are all dealing with high stress levels and anxiety.
Stress can lead to poor decision-making by making you more impulsive with how you spend your money. So, by all costs, avoid panic selling or panic buying. Don’t make important financial decisions such as investing your savings or purchasing a really expensive thing.
If you, however, are a business professional, and you need to keep your business running, make sure that you tackle stress and anxiety before making a big decision for your business. From exercising and having a healthy diet to practicing mindfulness meditation, these are great ways to manage stress during these uncertain times before making an important decision.
Since there’s no better time than now to make your wellbeing and health a priority, you can also invest in natural remedies, such as best hemp flower CBD products. These products can help you manage stress and anxiety and other medical conditions. Investing in keeping your mind and body healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is, in fact, long-term investment in your financial health as well.
Taking these few steps during this crisis can help you manage and protect your finances. Moreover, when things go back to normal, you will be in a stronger position with no extra liabilities.