Money management seems to be easier for some than others. Some people are naturally attuned to the money coming in and going out, have no problem budgeting, and are innately good savers. Others of us struggle, we can’t seem to figure out how to get ahead, and not live paycheck to paycheck. If you are someone who grapples with money management skills, the Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind. The pandemic was like a magnifying glass, accentuating each of our shortcomings, and money management is no different.
How We Got Here
When Covid hit, millions of Americans were let go from their jobs, and employment relief efforts proved incredibly difficult to navigate. Although the government put in place certain efforts for rent relief and eviction moratoriums, Americans put a lot of their day-to-day expenses on their credit cards. We saw our savings dwindle and experienced, some of us for the first time, what financial insecurity feels like. The pandemic particularly hurts those of us who already had a certain amount of debt accumulated and were living month-to-month. Then unemployment started to work, Americans saw small stimulus deposits as well as increased unemployment payments. Some experts are saying that the US may have even given people more money than they needed, although many disagree.
Now that we’re seeing Americans get kicked off unemployment, as recently as September 4th, we need to reimagine what our budgets and financial plans will be.
Start by analyzing where you’re at, hopefully, you have some money saved in the bank, if you don’t you’ll need to start as soon as possible. Due to the uncertainty of life post-pandemic, you must have at least one month’s rent saved in your bank. This is important because if we see more shut-downs you won’t want to be where you were the first time.
Make a monthly budget so you can see what your necessary expenses are, such as rent, food, healthcare, and groceries as well as your desire expenses like dinners out, and entertainment. There are many online and budgeting apps available to make this step easier.
Manage your debt, if you have credit card debt or student loans, it’s important to make sure you call your company and ask if you have the best interest rates available. Paying high-interest rates can make saving and managing your money nearly impossible.
Once you’ve done the proper search and created a budget you think you can keep, there’s another aspect of money management that’s important to look into. The way you see yourself as it pertains to money. You have to change your mindset. If you’re someone who has a scarcity complex, you have to start with your mind. Creating a mindset of abundance can help to create wealth and peace of mind. This can be difficult to do on your own so getting help is important, either through therapy, trusted friends, or a life coach. These people can help you change your patterns of behavior as well as implement new strategies going forward.