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I think it’s safe to say the world has gone crazy.
Business are shutting down, people are being forced to stay home and self-quarantine, and when you do go out people everywhere are wearing masks.
Times like these are something we never see coming, but here we are living through it. And I’ve got to say, I’m impressed with the human race in general and all the acts of kindness I’ve seen going around.
Needless to say, these are stressful and uncertain times when it comes to our money.
Maybe you’ve done all the right things. You’ve mapped out your plan to get out of debt. You’ve grown your emergency fund for those inevitable rainy days.
And then the virus hit.
Suddenly all your financial plans are put on hold. You might be dipping into that emergency fund, or just uncertain of what to do with your money right now.
Read on for five things you can do to improve your financial situation amidst all this craziness!
1. Diversify your income.
Working a traditional “9 to 5” can feel safe and stable, and probably the easiest way to earn income. You go to work, do your job, and get paid every two weeks (or month, etc.)
It seems risky to start your own business or side hustle. You have to worry about finding clients, taxes and paperwork, and all the other things that come along with being your own boss.
But have you ever thought how risky having only one source of income is?
What if the recession hits your company hard and you get laid off? What if for whatever reason you lose your job and it takes months to find another?
Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which means most Americans are less than a month away from financial disaster.
The good thing about diversifying your income is that there are tons of options these days! You can work online as a freelancer, virtual assistant, blogger, direct sales, etc.
Find something you can be excited about and pursue that.
2. Beef up your savings.
If you’re like me and thousands of other people, you’ve probably heard of (and follow) the “baby steps” from Dave Ramsey. The first one is to get $1,000 in savings so you have a little wiggle room if you get a flat tire, have a minor medical bill, etc.
I love this advice as it helps the problem we were just talking about — living paycheck to paycheck. $1,000 puts some room between you and life (and your next paycheck.)
But in times like these, it’s just not enough. So many people are losing their jobs and our economy is taking a hit.
I’d recommend your biggest goal right now be to get at least three months of expenses saved up.
If you’ve already received your stimulus check from the government, and don’t need it to pay bills, stick it in savings.
I’m a huge promoter of paying off debt, but right now we need to save that money. As much as I like seeing that money in savings, it hurt me too not putting it towards debt.
Work hard to save up at least three months of expenses, and then go back to attacking your debt, saving up for a house, etc.
As much as you’re able to do so, find ways to give.
If you’re blessed with a steady job/income, spare a little bit to help others who are in less fortunate situations right now.
Hunger is a huge problem, especially now, so consider donating to a local food bank. Invest in small businesses by shopping online, buying gift cards, or paying for a service anyway that had to be cancelled.
Of course financially isn’t the only way to give either. You can donate blood, time, skills, and anything else you can come up with!
4. Have some fun!
Now is the perfect time to find some unique ways to entertain yourself and your family. Most of us are under stay-at-home orders and have been for weeks now.
What are a few activities you’ve come up with? I saw a friend on Facebook did cartoon character dress up night. The dad was the genie from Aladdin, one of the daughters dressed up as a Rugrat, and the other daughters as a character in A Goofy Movie. It was awesome!
Of course the classics are always great too — board games, card games, movie nights, cooking new meals, baking, and so much more.
While I am getting a little antsy to get back to normal again, I’ve honestly loved my time at home with my little family!
Which reminds me…
5. Practice gratitude.
What has this pandemic made you thankful for? I know there’s a lot of sad and scary things happening right now. But there’s always something good too.
I’m taking time some of my extra time to sit outside and reflect on all the things I’m grateful for right now. Things like extra time with my almost-11-month-old son, learning how to cook better, opportunity to save money by not going out as much, etc.
Take some time to journal, write a note to a friend, or pray about all the blessings in your life right now.
You’ll instantly feel better no matter what your situation!
To wrap up
No matter what your money situation looks like right now, these are a few ways we all can improve our finances right now. Which one are you going to focus on first?
Let me know down in the comments!