This global pandemic has affected us all equally, but in different ways. One of the main areas which has been affected by the virus and its effect on life is in the realm of finances. No matter who you are, your finances have likely been affected to some degree or another by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, along with other measures. If you are wondering what you can do to work with this and to make it the best situation you can, look no further. Let’s take a look at some of the essential considerations you should keep on top of here.
Check For Government Support
If you are struggling financially, one of the first things you will want to do is to check whether there is any government support that you can claim. You might be surprised at how much is out there once you start to look for it, and in many cases this can be enough to ensure that you are able to move forward and keep on living the life you deserve to live. The kind and extent of help you can get will be determined by a number of factors, including where you live, your local government’s rules, your personal situation and so on. But in any case, it is worth looking into.
Avoid Panic Buying – Or Selling
One of the first things that many people did at the start of the pandemic was to rush out and buy things, just in case it was going to become impossible or difficult to do that in future. Famously, the whole world seemed to go and buy toilet paper in particular. But this is not a wise move to make, for a number of reasons. First of all, it disrupts life for everyone else and causes supply chains to go into meltdown. But in personal finance terms, it is much better to simply wait and see, rather than spend all of your money straight away.
Likewise, you should also try to avoid panic selling, which is another way that some people have been trying to deal with this situation. You might think that this is a powerful way to make a lot of money right now, but in truth you are only damaging the markets – and your own personal likelihood of financial success in the future.
Remember: Things Are Volatile
All in all, it is not the best time to be making those huge, overarching financial decisions right now. That’s because at the moment, most markets are pretty volatile, and you should make sure that you are bearing that in mind as you try to figure out what best to do. For instance, some people thought that it might be a good time to try and buy a home right now, but actually mortgage rates and taxes are all over the place, fluctuating all the time, and as a result you might find that it’s better simply to wait it out until next year. It looks as though 2021 is now going to be a lot better regarding the virus, so there is probably going to be more stability coming up – and a stronger housing market on the whole.
What To Do If You Are In Debt
One group of people who are likely to be particularly worried right now are those who are in some kind of debt. Of course, being in debt is never fun, and it’s always a concern, but the covid pandemic really is a bad time to be here if you have a lot of debt to your name. However, you should bear in mind that, just as there are increased benefits in many areas, so too are there a lot of debt holidays, as they are known, where companies offer you a few months off from paying back your debts. If you feel you might need this help, it’s worth looking into it, as it could help to keep you afloat for the duration of the pandemic. You can then look into improving your finances and paying back your debt after the pandemic is over.
Working From Home
A lot of people are working from home now, a lot more than ever. Whether you are doing this because your employer told you to, or because you took the plunge yourself and made a leap into that kind of lifestyle, it can take a while to get used to it. However, once you know how to approach it, you might find that it actually works out very well for you. But you will need to make it a financial success, and there are a lot of things to consider there, not least how you are going to ensure you are not overspending on energy at home.
To keep on top of that, you can make a point of being energy-efficient. You might also want to bear in mind that you can almost always claim back that money spent on electricity and so on as expenses on your tax bill, so that can help you out a little too. With that in mind, you should be able to make working from home a lot more financially sensible, and it might even be that you choose to stick with it long after the pandemic is done. Of course, some people might prefer to return to the office instead, so it’s all a matter of choice.
Allow Yourself A Luxury
It’s a hard time for all of us, and you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your head on straight. Something that can really help with that is to make sure that you are allowing yourself the occasional luxury at the very least. By doing that, you are essentially going to be psychologically more resolute, and it is worth putting a bit of money aside to be able to do this a little easier – whether it’s having a holiday, treating yourself to a games console, or whatever. If you are struggling to do it, you might want to consider a Wise Loan as a way of making it happen faster.
Keep Up With Your Bills
It should be basic at any time, but it’s important to remember that now is not a time to suddenly abandon paying your bills. If you are struggling and you think you might need help, the first thing to do is always to simply inform the person you owe money to about how you are struggling. That will ensure that you are going to get more time to deal with it, and sometimes that is all you really need. If nothing else, it will enable you to keep on working towards the end of the covid pandemic, and you should be able to keep everything in place. If you are struggling, make sure that you seek help as soon as possible and before it gets too bad.
Get & Stay Insured
The thing about insurance of all kinds is that it is hugely important to have, and more important to have when other things are not operating as usual. So if there is some kind of insurance that you need to have in your life, make sure that you get it now. If you already have it, you should endeavor to keep on top of the payments so that you don’t lose it, whether it is car, home, life or whatever other kind of insurance you might have. If you are having trouble with paying for it, you should remember that you do have options, but you need to try and pay the premium first and foremost before exploring those alternatives.
Do you have an emergency fund? This is something that each of us should have at all times, if possible. You never quite know when you are going to have to pay a lot of money suddenly, and so it is important to make sure that you have a fund that you can dip into wherever necessary. If you don’t already have one, you should absolutely start one up now. This is as simple as setting out a savings account – or even just an old-style piggy bank – and adding whatever you physically can afford to add to it. If you do that, you are going to suddenly feel so much more in control of your finances, no matter what might be happening outside your window.
Planning For Future Pandemics
It might sound grim, but if there is something that this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we never know when a new pandemic might hit, and yet when it does it could cause a lot of destruction in many ways. Something that you should think about from the current pandemic is to try and plan for future pandemics as best as you can. That should help you to be on top of your money no matter what is going on, and that’s a feeling of security that we would all be grateful for.