Twenty-twenty has been a year filled with unthinkable challenges and tragedy. Unfortunately, the uncertain global landscape is damaging the economy and affecting job security for a large number of people. Not to mention, isolation, fear, and heightened emotions are impacting mental health and well being. So many are searching desperately for ways to bring back a semblance of normalcy to their lives.
Though there are no magic solutions to make it all switch off and go back to the way it was, there are some simple things we can do to bring back some financial peace. Remember to focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. Here are a few actions to consider to have more peace in financially uncertain times.
Know Your Employee Rights
Knowing your employee rights and staying informed during a financial recession is essential, especially if you find yourself at high risk for a layoff. As employers make difficult decisions about how to stay afloat, you could become a casualty of the financial battle. Though these are, indeed, unprecedented times, there are still laws to protect workers from unfair and misguided treatment. Don’t be afraid to consult an employment lawyer or the labor board for information concerning your situation. Ideally, you’ll know what your rights are before anything derogatory happens.
Broaden and Use Your Skillset
If you have a marketable skill, developing a side hustle during uncertain times is an excellent way to add a safety net if you find yourself without a full-time job. Consider the things you love doing and are needed right now. Perhaps you could turn a long-time hobby into a money-making venture. It’s time to get creative and develop a product or service that brings something to the table that fits into this new world in which we live.
Also, it couldn’t hurt to search for free online courses to freshen up your knowledge and skills. You may even be able to obtain a scholarship or grant to go back to school as well. It doesn’t hurt to investigate the options, especially now that your income could be lower due to a job loss.
Build an Emergency Fund
Though most of us know that saving money is important to ensure a secure financial future, having a set emergency fund can help you to feel even safer as challenges mount. This fund isn’t meant to be used for a luxe vacation next year or little Timmy’s future college expenses. It is money set aside to protect you and your family in case of hardship or unforeseen circumstances.
Ideally, three months’ income in this fund is the recommend financial padding to protect you while you regain stability. Realistically, however, this can be difficult and many find it impossible to obtain. That said, do what you can to build a fund, even if it’s not as large as the ideal.
Minimize Unnecessary Expenditures
During times of uncertainty, minimizing unnecessary expenses is a solid way to reduce financial risk and build savings. Put large expenditures like cars, home renovations, and expensive vacations on hold if you can. It also helps to curb smaller purchases because they can really add up over time. Things like fast food, salon trips, seasonal wardrobe purchases, and entertainment are some of the things to minimize or eliminate temporarily to free up income to save or shift to something else. Take a look at your monthly budget to see what you can tighten up.
Assess Risk Carefully
There are financial advisors that would tell you not to change jobs, move house, or take risks during uncertain times, but sometimes it’s necessary. Assessing risk carefully is the key to knowing when to jump and when to stay put. For instance, if you’re simply a little bored with your job, but otherwise in a position of relative security, it might be worth staying put until things balance out with the crisis. On the other hand, if you’re at high risk for layoff, looking for more stable employment is a wise idea.
Protecting yourself during uncertain times means making sure you’re financially stable. This, in turn, helps you and your family to stay mentally and physically ready to tackle difficult circumstances. Be well and protect yourself by taking a few simple steps to create some additional security in your life.