This global pandemic has hit some people harder than others with many out of work temporarily, permanently, or in heightened strain in their jobs. Add to that kids being home from school or daycare, single people being more isolated than ever, financial impacts and the uncertainty around when you’ll be free of this, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a double chocolate stress cake. (It’s always desserts, because stressed spelled backwards is… you guessed it!)
If you’re finding yourselves with a loss of income due to the pandemic you’ve likely spent many hours navigating the available relief measures you’re eligible for. Not only are you without an income for these few months, but you’re likely seeing some expenses increasing such as food and necessities making it difficult to really cut back on a lot. While there are many financial assistance programs available to Canadians (check out my summary updated regularly: https://wallace-solutions.com/covid-19-resource/), it may not be providing you with enough income to sustain yourself. You’re not in this alone.
How do you set yourself up for success during this pandemic, but more importantly, in any future financial disaster you may encounter?
There are 3 key action areas to consider:
- Take care of your own house first
Whether you’re still working or not, you likely find a few free hours that you perhaps didn’t have before. Invest that time in yourself. This should include closely examining your current income and regular expenses. Are there expense areas you can cut? Is there “stuff” collecting dust in the closet you can sell? What do you need to be doing to collect financial assistance? (put reminders in your calendar so you don’t fall behind on reporting) To learn more about mastering your cashflow, I invite you to read a recent blog post, “Mastering Your Crisis Cashflow” (https://wallace-solutions.com/mastering-your-crisis-cashflow/)
- Don’t shy away from the money conversations
These are interesting times, and family communication is KEY. If you have a partner and weren’t in the habit of working together on the family finances, this is the perfect opportunity for that to change. This isn’t just budgeting your spending, but going over your entire financial plan. First question to ask: do you have a current financial plan? When was your will last updated and is it most current (especially important in a health pandemic)? Do you have an Emergency/What If The Worst Happens binder or file? There are foundational financial elements that don’t cost you anything but some time to review or create.
That financial conversation can also be with a professional to review what you have, what you need, and revise your financial goals given the new circumstances. If putting together a financial plan in the first place is something you’ve been putting off, why wait? Book a zoom call with a professional you’re comfortable and confident to work with and get it done. What better time than during a global pandemic? THIS is the key to preventing any future financial strain should any type of financial disaster affect you, or the world.
- Chart a course to your best financial self
Things have changed, that’s for sure. You may have been struggling to set and achieve financial goals, and this pandemic has only knocked you back ten steps. Or you may have a small business that is thriving providing services or products much in need during these unique times. Whatever your situation, your financial goals have likely changed. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be unable to achieve your idea of your financial best. You may just need to make adjustments (and really, aren’t we all right now?). Focus on 90 days periods to start. Make those necessary changes, buckle down, and MAKE IT HAPPEN. This may mean tearing the band-aid off certain issues you’ve been avoiding dealing with, or taking this opportunity to create new financial habits since you’re forced to spend money differently. Whatever the new course looks like, chart it thoughtfully, don’t be afraid to ask for help to set it up and put into action, and get motivated for positive change to come. It’s important to have something to look forward to and work towards.
Remember that this too shall pass, and while not everyone will emerge unscathed how you take advantage of the opportunities now can make a significant impact on your future financial self.
Ask questions, seek information, set goals, and make plans.
I’m here to help YOU so if you have questions about managing your finances through this, future financial planning (crisis or not), or anything in between feel free to book a free call with me at your earliest convenience.