Emergency Economic Measures to Consider as We Move into a Post-COVID World
One of the most stressful aspects of Pandemic 2020, most everyone would agree, is the uncertainty. No one really knows what the next few years will look like. We might be social distancing for a long time to come. There could be mutations of the novel coronavirus, leading to a second wave of the disease it causes, COVID-19, with even higher infection rates -- and mortality rates.
For many folks here in the U.K. and around the world, the financial implications of this disaster are the most uncertain – and therefore the most terrifying. People have lost their jobs, or been temporarily out of work, in record numbers. Reentry is likely to be slow, which means that many of us aren’t going to be going back to work anytime soon. It’s time to start thinking about how we’ll get by if our worst-case scenarios turn into the new normal.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Many Brits might remember their older relatives or friends talking about the frugal living practices that saw them through the lean years of WWII. In recent years, some of these ways to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” have become popular again – not just as a method of saving money, but in order to live a more minimalist, environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Of course, you might not be ready to re-use matches or cut your sugar use as severely as Great-Grandma used to, but why not try to use meat as a seasoning rather than serving up a big steak, or learn to mend your own clothes instead of buying all new? It can actually be a fun quarantine project to plant a Victory Garden or experiment with retro recipes and give your family a taste of wartime life.
Put Your Equity to Use
In lean economic times, any equity you have – whether that’s home equity, shareholder’s equity, or even sweat equity – can be leveraged for ready money. Consider selling off your financial assets like stocks, bonds, and trusts. If you don’t have any of those, maybe a second charge mortgage is a smart move, or look into information about reverse mortgages.
Sweat all you have left? That’s all right. There’s nothing wrong with an honest day’s work, so if you’ve got a nagging sense of professional pride holding you back from pounding the pavement, may we gently suggest that this is the time to let that go? Plenty of jobs are still out there for the taking, even if you might not have considered retail work or manual labor in previous times.
One Man’s Trash...
This technique for saving and/or making money goes hand-in-hand with the first one, although the focus is a little different. If you consider it an enjoyable challenge to scrimp, pinch, and budget to make ends meet, expand your horizons and see if you can repurpose something destined for the bin into a useful item once again.
While you’re looking around the house for belongings you can transform, don’t forget that you might be holding onto another man’s treasures – sometimes even unbeknownst to you! Often, people find items stashed away in secret corners of their home or property that end up netting them a tidy sum of cash, if not an outright fortune.
Even some of your seldom-used belongings might bring in extra income, if you know where to sell them. Designer clothes, purses, shoes, and other accessories are in demand, particularly if you offer them for sale online. Small appliances that you don’t use, those wedding gifts that are gathering dust, or even your children’s castoff toys could be worth listing on local marketplaces.
Oftentimes, it takes a crisis – a war, a recession, or a pandemic – to open our eyes to the opportunities all around us. We tend to think of our jobs as the only way to increase our income, but that’s not the case. Stay afloat by implementing cost-saving solutions, liquidating your little-used assets, or finding funds hidden in your home – either figuratively or literally!
Have you stopped splurging and started thinking frugally? What steps have you taken to improve your income or decrease your spending? Let us know how you’re faring financially during this time by leaving a comment below.
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