No matter how much we may wish things would just go “back to normal,” a new normal has emerged. Various types of travel have been canceled or postponed; schools, universities, and camps are closed or on restrictions; and innumerable other programs have been canceled indefinitely. Your finances may have been turned upside down, too.
Fortunately, no matter how much this pandemic has changed your life, there are things you can do to stay safe and maintain financial solvency, during these uncertain times. Here are five ways to do just that.
One thing that can throw us off-balance is a sense of helplessness. Maybe you feel like you’ve lost control over your career, or the ability to pursue your interests, your finances, and your personal safety. It’s easy to feel anxious and depressed. Still, there’s plenty you can do to feel more in control and self-sufficient.
Connect with your friends and family via telephone, video chat, etc. And consider getting acquainted with neighbors and others in your area whom you may not know.
You also could develop a new skill or tap into an ability you already have. Lend a hand by sewing masks for your local hospital or charity. Remember that even though things have changed, you still have control over your life, your mood, and your circumstances.
Safeguard Your Credit
Many people are going through financial hard times caused by the pandemic. Some have been laid off or furloughed; others have seen their hours cut. Still others have been hit with unforeseen expenses because they or family members have been directly affected by the virus.
Whatever your situation, do everything you can to maintain your solvency. Rather than worrying about how to cover future expenses, try these steps for the present: Devise a workable budget; work to pay off debts; and repair and build your credit.
In fact, whatever your money situation looks like, it’s helpful to learn how to monitor your credit rating so you’ll always know where you stand. No matter how much income you have at any given moment, you can take some steps to get rid of past debts and shore up your credit.
Get Your House in Order
If you’ve taken a financial hit as a result of the pandemic, you may be forced to do much more with much less. Even if you own your home, the present state of things feels unnerving. It’s good to know how much equity you have in your home, in case you need to tap into it.
Your house can provide you security, but it also can be the source of added expense. There’s always the risk of unforeseen problems. Repairs to plumbing, heating, roofing, and other home features can be much costlier than you’re prepared to handle.
You can safeguard against such major expenses by purchasing a home warranty, which will give you protection when dealing with repairs to your plumbing or HVAC system, washer and dryer, refrigerator, or other appliances.
Get a Side Job Helping Those in Need
With so many people unable or unwilling to leave their homes, now is a great time to start a side hustle. Bring in extra income by running errands, fulfilling grocery orders, delivering food, or providing similar door-to-door services.
Rather than working for another company, think about working for yourself. Nothing will create a sense of financial self-reliance faster than starting your own business. Tap into the market in your area and take control of your own finances.
You can even promote your business by purchasing business cards, creating flyers, or investing in totes with your company’s name on them. Custom-printed tote bags have been found to create more than 5,700 impressions on potential customers every year, so just carrying your supplies in one is great advertising.
The financial picture can look discouraging, but there are plenty of ways for you to stay safe and maintain your solvency during the pandemic. No matter how dismal your circumstances may seem, always remember that you’re in control of your own life — and the only way to lose, is to quit.
About the Author: Jessica Larson is a married mom in the Midwest, and a solopreneur with a goal of earning a decent income for her family without sacrificing scheduling flexibility.