All the things happening in 2020 have often made it difficult to look on the bright side. Even our humor has often been dark. Memes are floating around about trying to guess what disaster will hit us next. Whether it’s “murder hornets,” dual hurricanes, or any number of the other history-making things that have happened this year, there a few positive things that COVID-19 has taught us about money.
Free family time is a great way to save money while building relationships. With everything closed or canceled, most people had to find new things to occupy their time. Our schedules are usually packed with sporting events, appointments and social engagements, when COVID-19 hit we were forced to slow down and appreciate what we had at home. Family and more free time are irreplaceable memories you will never get back. Think about how much money you are now saving not driving to all those practices, recitals and plays. The pandemic has forced us to focus on family, eat at home a little more, not be on the go constantly and appreciate the small things in life.
It is more important than ever to save for emergencies. Financial advisors have been repeating this one for years. It’s hard to think about some distant “emergency” when you are living paycheck-to-paycheck. But job losses, furloughs, and medical emergencies have become all too common since March 2020.With the cancellations and lockdowns of extracurricular activities, you have the time now to re-evaluate your budget and see how you can make that emergency fund grow. So, here’s a reminder we all need to hear again: Funding an emergency account will always be more important than almost everything you think you need right now. Take a long, hard look at each purchase and be honest with yourself – is it a need or a want? If you’re not sure, it’s probably a want.
Be cautious of the loans you take out. Loans come in many different forms, and often there is a whole range of reasons why you may need to take one out. Whether it’s to cover a big financial purchase, or to cover debt, you should always be a little cautious about the loans you take out. With the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to think about what will happen if you can no longer afford your repayments. Consider whether it’s better to wait until you can buy something in full, rather than using loans to pay for it. If you don’t have the luxury of waiting, make sure you have a backup plan and always remember to talk to us as we are always here to help you.
Be thankful for your employment. Some people love their jobs; for others, their job is just a paycheck. But the widespread and painful job losses that have occurred in the entertainment, health care, travel, retail and restaurant industries during the COVID-19 outbreak should remind us all to be thankful for being employed and to step up and do the best job we can. A paycheck is better than no paycheck.
The pandemic has certainly turned our lives upside down, but there are things we can learn from it. Focusing on what you can control will help you find the positives during this time of uncertainty.