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Has flattening the curve flattened your wallet? Are you feeling the burn? The “Coronacoaster” has caused unprecedented chaos.
This tiny virus has a huge effect on all of us and is so much more than a public health crisis. Most of us are experiencing the economic collateral damage firsthand. As people begin to peek at their devastating finances, many wonder if things will ever go back to normal.
It’s a stressful time for many reasons and if you have to worry about how to get by financially, the added stress may cause you to feel completely overwhelmed. Will you ever get out of debt? Can you rebuild your savings? Is saving for a holiday nothing but a dream right now?
The good news is that there are steps you can take today to potentially restore your financial wellness faster. The first thing to know is that you are not alone. Financial problems can feel isolating and introduce feelings of incompetence. Dealing with setbacks and debt is not shameful, it’s responsible. The pandemic, like a tsunami or an earthquake, is a natural disaster. Devastating? Certainly. But your fault? Hardly.
Here’s how to fight your way back to financial stability:
- Take inventory. Know where you’re at. What do you owe? What are your remaining assets? Create a new budget to manage your new conditions and track your spending. Take care of your basic needs first and be sure to separate needs from wants.
- Prioritise payments. Remember, the usual rules don’t apply. Contact financial institutions and make arrangements.
- Find out what you’re eligible for. Check with your HR department with regards to possible benefits. Also, access government websites, investigate what the government is providing in this time of crises. You might qualify for a small business loan or be able to claim UIF.
- Search for alternative sources of income. Join the “gig economy”. Offer online tutoring or coaching on zoom. Clean out your closets and look for goods to sell or use this time to improve your qualifications online.
- Eat in. Save money and calories! Track the lowest prices in supermarkets near you, make a weekly menu and grocery list to eliminate waste. Switch to off-brand grocery and household items. A penny saved is a penny earned, right?!
- Cancel or suspend subscriptions. Trim waste from your budget – including unused gym memberships, premium cell phone plans, vacations. Cut on DSTV. Do you really need 300 channels?
- Take care of yourself so you have plenty of energy to face the problems you’re facing
Remember, small changes can add up to big savings.
Your financial recovery plan is not a sacrifice, it’s a commitment to invest in your financial wellbeing. Yes, it might be tough to skip your morning latte from your favourite coffee shop, but living debt-free and financially independent is so much more rewarding.
Source: aheadofthecurve.investec.co.za, cashfloat.co.uk, verywellmind.com, blog.massmutual.com, gflec.org, financialmentor.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.