The global crisis that has hit us seemingly out of nowhere has impacted our daily lives in ways that most of us could have never imagined. Isolation, financial insecurity, limited access to food, healthcare, all of these concerns time tracking projects are facing each and every one of us every day.
Whether you have been living paycheck to paycheck or are fully equipped with an emergency savings fund and cash on hand for expenses, the current state of our world is a stressful financial climate for all of us. Many of us will see the results of the financial crisis sooner or later and you should begin to prepare for whatever may come your way.
One of the most worrisome aspects of this financial crisis is that there is no way for us to know when it will be over.
The job market is halted and there are people who may not have an income again for a significant amount of time. Especially for those who have been living paycheck to paycheck, this is a terrifying thought. However, even if you consider yourself financially stable, some smart financial thinking can help you to come out on top during this uncertain time.
This article will outline some financial tips and tricks to help you come out of this financial crisis in a better position than you are currently in. Feeling helpless is not going to make a difference in the long run. Instead, choose to take action and gain control of your financial situation.
Write It Down
Before you can truly gain control of your finances, you need to have a firm grasp on what your current financial situation is. Begin by writing it all down. You should make an itemized list of all your expenses, when they are due, and also the money that you have coming in and what you currently have in the bank.
Having a visual representation of your current economic situation will help you to more thoroughly grasp how to handle your situation in the future. This will also help you determine how you might cut some of your expenses to save money in the long run.
Make a Budget
Sit down with the list you already have made and make that list a little bit more official with a budget that is set in stone. There are tons of free templates that can be found online to help you create a budget that works for your family. Whether you type it, or write it out by hand is irrelevant. This is simply a tool to help you accomplish your longer term goals.
It is important that you include all of the adults involved in finances in the creation of this budget. When one adult simply makes and gives a budget to another adult, it is harder for that person to be invested in sticking to the budget. Make sure that all financial decision makers are involved in the decisions when creating an official budget, this will make everyone an invested participant.
Once you have created your budget, make sure to have some kind of method for holding everyone responsible.
Creating a budget is an important step, but committing to stick to that budget is an even more important step.
During a situation like the current pandemic we are experiencing, we are eating more meals within our than ever before. Children are home during the day and the urge to snack is even more prevalent than it is during other times of the year. This can cause the grocery budget to skyrocket during a situation like this.
Making a meal plan and posting it for the family to see is a great tool to combat overspending in the grocery store. Having a meal plan ensures that you will buy only the ingredients that are necessary to make the meals you have planned for an allotted time. Further, it cuts down on excessive snacking. Some parents have even resorted to various methods for keeping a track on their kids snacking in order to minimize the budget impact from groceries.
Cut Some Expenses
We can probably all stand to take a look at our extraneous spending every now and then. Take this crisis as an opportunity to make some necessary saving choices.
- Entertainment- During this pandemic, it is not likely you are spending much money on dates or movies. However, there are other entertainment avenues which you might be spending more money on than you realize. Have you been renting endless movies? Do you have several streaming services? What about music services like Sirius XM or Apple Music? Take a long look at these added expenses to see if there are any that can be cut.
- Eating Out- The urge to get out of the house and pick up a curbside meal can be incredibly strong during this isolating time. However, there is a fine line between doing this for mental health, and doing it for convenience. Make a budget for eating out and stick to it to ensure you don’t spend too much money.
- Power Bill- Did you know that you can likely save money on your power bill by making some simple changes to your habits? Using energy efficient lightbulbs, for example, can save you some money. Keeping your air conditioner on a reasonable number, closing doors, and investing in nice curtains are all sensible ways to decrease your monthly power bill.
- Cable Bill- Some people may have decided to cut the cable bill altogether with the current popularity of various streaming services. Either way, a more simple package could be considered.
Evaluate and Work on Your Debt
If you find yourself making high-interest payments to various debtors, then you would be smart to consider talking to a financial expert in debt settlement, debt relief services, or debt reduction. These services can go a long way in helping you to make smaller payments toward your debt and some of these services might even help boost your credit score.
Each situation is different, so you will need to have your current situation evaluated by an expert. However, these solutions can be incredibly beneficial for your financial situation when considered carefully among all of your options.
Although this current crisis is certainly a warranted cause for anxiety and concern, there are a lot of things that can be done to keep your family from financial ruin. In fact, making smart choices during a difficult time like this current crisis can help to push your family into a better place financially even after the crisis is over.