Lockdown in different countries continues due to the rapid emergence of covid19 virus new variants, the economic fallout only grows worse. Prices for necessities always seem to come up every day, and it is a constant struggle to keep up and control financial expenses.
Even with help of getting the most out of your current account, there is sadly very little one can do when they have to keep withdrawing money. These unfortunate circumstances have even resulted in more college students dropping out. In Japan alone, there is a decrease of 12% among major private universities’ exam takers this year, citing financial difficulties as one of the biggest reasons.
While one can find numerous finance tips on the internet, it can be rather difficult to find which one works the best for you. After all, these things are often subjective in nature, and it is not widely applicable to every case. For example, it may happen that a budgeting tip is not applicable, since you already have budgeted your expenses for the week, month, or year. Similarly, a tip about investing may also not be applicable, as you may not have the money to do so. With the rise of the COVID-19 virus, many of these become even less applicable.
With these in mind, I have compiled a condensed list of things you should do to take control of your finances.
Coping with debt
During these times, it is very crucial to decide on your financial priorities like if you are having an existing debt, it is best to take steps to negotiate your repayment terms. Consult a debt advisor on how you can pay off your debts faster or how you can reduce the interest rate if you need to make a loan.
Budgeting is the most basics of financial tips that almost everyone knows. However, it is a step that is often ignored due to the stress, anxiety, and pressure of paying off bills. To make budgeting effective, you have to first take into account the countless expenses in your home.
Make a list of the priorities you need to buy in your household. Like food, groceries, and clothing. Since most of us are working from home, it will be wise to cut off expenses in buying clothes and shoes as much as possible. Buy what you need and not what you want can be a good rule to follow. Since most family income nowadays is only sufficient for daily needs, it will be helpful if you can create a weekly menu in order for you to make a realistic food budget.
Set aside money for your monthly utility bills.
Cut back on expenses
Making meals at home is the first step to cut back on expenses. Home-cooked meals are healthier. Though fast-food meals are faster to grab yet this convenience comes with a price and less healthy especially if you have kids.
Limit shopping online, we always have the tendency to buy things we don’t really need, so why not explore and clean your closet and sell what you can.
Check your online subscriptions, choose only what you need, and cancel other subscriptions less needed.
Reduce electric bill. Replace light bulbs with LED as it is more efficient and consumes less electricity. Turn off standby appliances. If you need to buy a new home appliance, go for energy-efficient ones.
Reduce water bill. Fix leaks if there are. It is also advisable to use a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerators. Schedule your laundry and use laundry water to water your plants or clean your garage. It is wise too to install a water-saving toilet flush system.
Read, Apply, and Read!
In today’s era, knowledge is power, and information is the new currency. If you want to keep afloat and ahead of your expenses, it is more important to take up the task of reading economic changes daily. However, this reading doesn’t necessarily extend to you having to actively analyze economic graphs and the like. Rather, you should focus on seeking personal finance books written by experts to collaborate your experiences, and potentially learn new things.
On the other hand, you don’t have to actually read personal finance books if you believe it will simply be a dent in your budget. Instead, learn to read online about predictions of possible price hikes like how car drivers tend to be on the lookout for dips in car oil pricing. Be proactive in reading, and take up your daily newspaper, and read any articles that may affect your daily expenses.
Of course, reading these things should not stop there. Learn to apply any of the knowledge you have experienced ASAP.