I think that it is safe to say that many Americans have faced a huge financial strain since the onset of the COVID pandemic. So many people have lost jobs, seen a huge decrease in either their hours, salaries, or loss business profits for small business owners like myself. It can seem like there is no hope in ever rebuilding your financial standing, but there are definitely ways to help improve your finances – one step at a time.
With everything from opening new rewards-earning credit cards to selling old items you no longer use on eBay, earning extra money by becoming a delivery driver for services like UberEats or Postmates, to getting term life insurance quotes, there are ways to set yourself up for a more comfortable future now that things are beginning to return to normal. In these 5 Tips for Financial Planning After a Pandemic, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I am rebuilding my financial standing after the whirlwind of the COVID pandemic.
5 Tips for Financial Planning After a Pandemic
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Responsival, all opinions are my own.
Create a Budget and Stick to it
Everyone says to make a budget, but that is easier said than done, I know! There are always ways to decrease your spending, whether it be by switching auto insurance policies, cancelling some streaming services, cutting back on name brand grocery items or going meat-less for a few meals a week.
Paying for full service Hulu? Go down to the $5.99 plan. Pick one single streaming service and cancel the rest. I realize that we are all dependent on streaming services because we haven’t been able to do much else over the last year but watch television, but sacrifices have to be made!
Pick a few meals a week to exclude meat from, or make big casseroles and do leftovers a few times a week.
Do you smoke or drink? Quit or cut back – and stop going out to the bars on weekends, when there aren’t any drink specials! My friends and I do happy hours or 1/2 off nights at our local bar so that we can save money and still get out and socialize. While you’re at it, skip those expensive food deliveries and eat the food you have at home! I ordered Greek delivery for Angeline and I this weekend for Mother’s Day and just for two meals and an app, my total was $60 with tip…needless to say, we will be cooking our own meals for a while now!
Refinance Your Mortgage, Personal Loan or Auto Loan
With interest rates are at an all-time low right now, whether you own your own home, are currently paying towards a personal loan or auto loan, it is worth checking to see if you are eligible to refinance any existing loans you may have. If you have credit card debt, check out options for debt consolidation through your bank and take advantage of a lower interest rate. I am currently building my credit up and paying off my credit cards so that I can qualify to refinance my home. Fingers crossed that I am successful before the interest rates begin to increase again!
You can save up to hundreds of dollars a month, several thousand dollars over the life of the loan by reducing your interest rate.
Request Term Life Insurance Quotes
Life insurance is something that I take seriously, as I used to work for a Financial Advisor and after losing several family members the past few years. While life insurance won’t necessarily help YOU after you pass, it will help your surviving family members pay for your burial expenses and perhaps help them out financially as well.
It is free to request term life insurance quotes, and you can get policies for as little as $10 a month, depending on your age, health and other qualifying factors. I have a $10,000 policy myself to help Angeline with my burial expenses after I pass. When I am in a better financial position, I will be increasing that amount.
Sell Your Unused Items Online
Whether it’s Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or eBay, there are plenty of ways to sell items you have around your home that you aren’t using to make a few extra dollars – which you can then save for a rainy day. I recently sold our golf cart to an acquaintance and immediately sent that money to pay down the balance on my last remaining credit card.
Next, I went through all of my books and random items that I have never opened and listed them all on my eBay store. My huge assortment of crystals and metaphysical items that I purchased during the COVID lock down when I was going through my Reiki certification are being listed too – if you take a look around your home, in your attic, in the closet – I am sure that you have some things that you aren’t using that could fetch a pretty penny or two. It all adds up!
Reconsider Your Living Arrangement
Do you currently have a spare bedroom that isn’t being used? Maybe consider bringing in a roommate to help you save money on household bills. You can even rent out your place on AirBNB and crash with a friend for a weekend to earn extra spending money or to pay down your debts. Now is the time to get creative!
I recently converted my home office into another master bedroom and am renting it out to earn a little extra money to pay towards the home equity loan I took out in 2019. I paid off all of my debts at the time, and the rental income I am receiving pays for that loan payment. Where there is a will, there is a way, as they say!
Of course, not everyone has a spare bedroom, or a golf cart sitting in the backyard that they can sell. Some are struggling to make ends meet no matter what they are currently doing, or are physically unable to get a second job, etc. I hope that things improve for you as well – it can really only get better from here!