COVID-19 has left several families scrambling to try and make ends meet because of not being able to earn their regular incomes. If you have been unfortunate enough to not be able to work over the past few months, the tips below could help ensure that you stretch each dollar as far as possible.
Don’t be Tempted by Sales
After lockdown is lifted, several retailers will most likely have a glut of stock that they need to move from their inventories. This will result in there being a number of sales that advertise along the lines of, “Once in a lifetime opportunity,” or “final clearance.”
Regardless of how good a deal seems to be on an item, resist purchasing it unless you can afford to cover its cost in full. Chances are that similar items will be sold at reduced prices later in the year again.
Households that were able to plan ahead by having an emergency fund to cover at least one to two months of expenses will experience less financial stress during this time.
Although you might be thinking that it’s counterintuitive to start saving now, this is not the case. Starting with a small amount such as $10 to $15 per week or $50 per month may not feel like a lot of money, but the truth is that it will add up over time and come in handy if you’re suddenly unable to earn an income again.
Cut Expenses wherever Possible
Most individuals are familiar with the standard ways of reducing expenses such as not purchasing new clothing, cutting back spending on takeout’s and restaurant meals, and not taking vacations. However, during these unpredictable times, your cost cutting may sometimes have to become a little more drastic until such time as you’re earning wages again.
While subscriptions such as Netflix Spotify may provide entertainment, you may need to consider cutting them for a few months. Any gaming group or other club memberships you may have should also be canceled, as they are not genuine necessities.
Repair and Repurpose
At a time when you’re receiving little to no income, the saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” can be a budget lifesaver.
Refrain from purchasing items until what you have has already been used up as much as possible. Don’t purchase clothing or shoes unless an existing item has genuinely worn out or been outgrown. If a clothing item has a small rip or other minor damage, consider repairing it before tossing it in the trash – several YouTube videos are available that can teach you the basics of clothing repair.
Drastically cutting your expenses during this time could make all the difference with regards to being able to pay your rent or mortgage and put food on the table for your family. While you and your family may feel deprived during this time due to decreased spending, keep in mind that these difficult times will eventually pass.
COVID-19 has resulted in millions of families living under lockdown conditions in that they may only leave their homes to purchase groceries and medical supplies, or to seek medical attention in case of emergency. With so many businesses being forced to close during this time, several families are left without any form of income – resulting in soaring stress levels all round. Below are some tips that can help ensure that your mental health is not too badly affected.
Keep a Routine wherever Possible
For the first time in many years, more individuals than ever are working from home – or simply having to stay home because their employers have been forced to close during the pandemic. Parents have had to try and educate their children while also working from home, which has placed a tremendous amount of stress on many families.
Creating a routine, such as early morning exercise, mid morning homeschooling, lunchtime, afternoon chores and free time in the evenings will go a long way in helping to retain a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.
Restrict Access to Social Media and News Sites
Two of the biggest sources of stress that can contribute to a decline of your mental health during lockdown are social media and news sites.
Experts recommend that you avoid social media channels that share speculative information, while also limiting your access to reputable news sites as much as possible. Try to set specific times of day for checking your social media accounts and news sites, as constant access can leave you feeling more overwhelmed than ever before.
Spend Some Time Outdoors
Several research studies have indicated that being able to spend time outdoors in nature provides a positive boost to mental as well as physical health.
Exposing your body to natural light will also increase serotonin and melatonin levels – both of which have positive effects on mental and physical health. Even going for a short walk around a few city blocks will help you feel better than if you stay cooped up indoors throughout the pandemic.
Consider De-cluttering your Home
Although you may be stuck at home indefinitely, this actually provides you and your family with an ideal opportunity to engage in a major de-cluttering and deep cleaning project.
Start by working on one room at a time and remove items that are no longer wanted or needed, and perform a deep clean on windows, walls and floors at the same time. Items that cannot be repaired should also be tossed at this time. After a week or two, you and your family will be able to enjoy spending time in a home that is not only clean, but properly organized as well.
Partaking in the above mentioned activities might not seem like the most exciting option while so many families are living under lockdown and not able to leave their homes, but they could help make the coping process a lot easier and less stressful for everyone concerned.Continue reading