While it’s easy to name endless negatives that came along with COVID-19, it’s also important to acknowledge it as the wake up call it truly was. For most of us, we were living lives full of comfort and also a little bit of ignorance. Things were going well, and while there was nothing wrong with this, we might have let ourselves get a bit too comfortable.
Now that this pandemic struck our lives and the economy, we’ve been forced to come to terms with the reality of our savings plan. For those who had a rainy day fund prepared, the effects of COVID were much less intimidating. For others, it’s time to pick up the pieces and make bigger strides with your savings plan budget.
Now is the time to begin your COVID savings plan if you haven’t already. While we can’t change the past, we can take positive action to protect ourselves for tomorrow. It’s easier than it sounds. In fact, here are 6 ways COVID already kickstarted your savings plan.
1. Beating the taboo
Talking about money isn’t always easy. In the past, it wasn’t always considered polite to talk to your friends and family about your income, how much you’re saving, and whether you’ve built an emergency fund for yourself.
Today, everything is changing. The barriers around money talk are changing. It’s not only more common to talk about money, but it’s encouraged. By being open about your financial situation, you can find comfort amongst friends and family. You can also join forces to hold yourselves accountable in your COVID savings plan.
2. The importance of saving for the future
While saving for a vacation or the holiday season have always been common, not very many Australians saved for an emergency. In 2017, 2 in 5 Aussies claimed to be insufficiently prepared for an emergency. While it might be manageable to live paycheck to paycheck in some situations, this can easily go wrong when disaster strikes.
COVID reminds us all that we can’t always predict the future. We won’t know what will happen to our insecure jobs, our health, and our homes in the future. That’s why it’s important to save just in case. Now that this important topic is in the limelight, it will be hard to turn your back on this reality.
3. Spend less daily
A lot of people began to realise just how much they spent on little things every day. Eating lunch out, grabbing coffee, and shopping during free time are just a few of the many things we spent money on without thinking.
Because many cities have gone into lockdown and regular businesses are closed, people have spent less in general. Working from home and seeing friends in public less often changed the way we spent money. For many, this means more money going towards your personal savings plan.
4. Focus on cheaper activities
While it might have been trendy to participate in expensive hobbies, times are changing. It’s never been more popular to enjoy the simpler (and cheaper) things in life.
Things like cooking at home, baking, crafting, and reading are now the norm. Instead of going out every weekend, people are enjoying nature and spending time with their families. This is a great way to dedicate more money towards your savings goals.
5. Rethink job security
Now that jobs are classified as “essential” vs. “nonessential,” we’re all rethinking our own job security. There are no guarantees that your job will be around in the future. It’s important to consider remote working, or looking for new ways to make money, and never getting too comfortable.
By rethinking your own job security, you’re better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you. Whether you lose your job unexpectedly or your industry takes a hit, you’ll still be prepared financially.
6. Create a stronger budget
Lastly, this pandemic shows the importance of building a strong, reasonable budget. With families living on a smaller income (or no income) amidst this economic shakeup, creating a budget has never been more important.
This focus on budgeting won’t go away with the end of the pandemic. It’s something that should be used for the rest of one’s life as a way to ensure your spending is in line with your financial goals. A stronger budget means a better understanding of your money.
Make this time work for your savings plan
While it’s undeniably a scary and uncertain time, it’s also the perfect opportunity for reflection and change. Now is the perfect time to plan for your financial future, use the present time wisely to create a long term strategy that’s ready for anything. By taking these skills and ideas you’ve learned in quarantine and putting them to use, you can make this experience work to your advantage.
If you’re struggling to create a budget during this pandemic, you’re not alone. Thousands are suffering, but you don’t have to live this way. Talk to a financial expert at Debt Busters today on 1300 368 322 for assistance with your COVID savings plan.