During the pandemic, many of us were forced to adopt different habits and change the way we spend money dramatically. While we’ll be more than happy to ditch some of those tactics as the world reopens, are any worth keeping?
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to come up with a financial plan that’s perfect for post-pandemic times.
#1 – Get back on an even financial keel
If you leaned a little too hard on borrowing during the pandemic, now would be an excellent time to evaluate what you owe and work out the most cost-effective way to get things back on track.
While credit and store cards may be a convenient way to stave off any cash flow problems in an emergency – and let’s face it, for many people COVID-19 qualified as one of those – cards are rarely a cost-effective way to tackle financial issues in the longer term.
Consolidating any high-interest debts you accumulated during the pandemic is probably the best first step you could take in a post-COVID world. Look at the different debts you owe, target anything with an interest rate in double figures, and then add everything up.
Next, you may want to look for a cost-effective, low-interest personal loan that you can use to cover as many of those various debts as possible. By consolidating and refinancing your personal debt in this way, you can save big on interest. Furthermore, budgeting for a single monthly repayment is a lot easier than dealing with multiple statements and different due dates.
#2 – Invest a little time in yourself
COVID-19 hit some of us harder than others, and many people found themselves re-examining their career paths as the worst effects of the pandemic ensued. In Melbourne, that was especially true for casual and hospitality workers when lockdowns completely disrupted their ability to earn money.
Consider whether now might be a good time to look for ways you can achieve greater job security. You may wish to empower yourself by retraining for a new career or just upgrade the skills you already have.
The fact is, while international border closures have led to a labour shortage and low unemployment rates, this won’t improve your chances on the job market if your skills and qualifications do not match the positions being advertised.
If work remains scarce, use the time to seek out opportunities for free training online and sign up for local courses that can lead you to where you want to be. Many public libraries and several educational institutions offer free access to online leaning courses, while some of the biggest digital platforms offer free certified training to become qualified with their products.
#3 – Keep eating in, save money
Unless you literally lived under a rock pre-2020, it’s very likely the virus transformed the way you spend money on entertainment and socialising. It’s also fair to assume that some of the changes are probably for the better. Let’s face it, most of us wasted a lot of money on eating out – and ordering in, before the pandemic hit.
You won’t be alone if you’ve looked at your bank statements at some point during the last eighteen months and marvelled at what you can save by making coffee at home or cutting down on takeaway meals and restaurant extravaganzas every other day.
Check out your online subscriptions too. They’ve likely added up as a result of ongoing boredom thanks to multiple lockdowns and staying home more than usual. Work out what you can live without, then stick with these new habits post-COVID-19. And don’t forget that some of the best things in life are free.
Your time and your money are precious
The past 18 months have been something of a wild ride thanks to COVID-19, but with the emergence of vaccines, things look like they might get back to some sort of normal soon – albeit with a few outbreaks and hiccups along the way.
Ultimately, your time and your money are two of your most valuable assets – and maybe the pandemic has reminded many of us of that fact. While we’re not out of the woods yet, if you manage your money smartly and use your time wisely, you might just emerge from the chaos of COVID-19 in great financial shape – and be better equipped to navigate choppy waters going forward.