The world is on a tough break. With CoVid-19 now shaking up economies worldwide, it’s undeniable how its impact would eventually trickle down to every single household and businesses around the world in the long run. According to the UN, this outbreak could cause the global economy up to $2 trillion this year. The consequences of this outrageous pandemic would certainly deepen the existing stigma of economic inequality. Low-income families and the working class are left behind, while white-collar class remains privileged. Needless to say, those living an opulent lifestyle wouldn’t be bummed out but for single-income families who live pay-check to pay-check, this may be a punch in the gut.
In times like these, it is important to have some sort of plan you can fall back on; so choosing between paying the bills or getting groceries due to an emergency lockdown, isn’t a matter of debate in your home. Although this crisis has brought a wave of financial panic to every working individual, people who are on low wages, self-employed, including individual contractors among many others are at stake. The unforeseen circumstances like such do demand some short term sacrifices, but an outbreak of a pandemic shouldn’t be the only thing alarming you that there’s a gray area in the way you manage your money.
Mortgage, utilities, insurance, that’s just a fraction of what you need to consider while mapping out your budget. Having a one-income lifestyle can be challenging, but with a well thought-out plan, it’s possible to make the ends meet. To stay financially sound, it is important to stay practical and strategically pen down how to make better use of your hard earned income.
Map out a budget
As much as an understatement it has become, for all proactive planning and number crunching, this part is essential. Mapping out a budget and sticking to it is the first step towards financial security. Once you create your budget, penning down expenses not only makes you feel accountable but you end up making wiser choices. With a budget in hand, you wouldn’t slip off putting extra goodies in your cart while shopping. It helps you keep your eyes on the prize, allowing you to lock in your goals against your budget. The practice of budgeting will lead you to track your expenses, minimize over-spending and eventually manage your money better. In times like these, where the global pandemic has made managing money is an obvious concern, a pre-planned budget would quickly allow you to cut down on expenses which can be catered to later. With everything being online, budgeting has also become easier. Writing a detailed budget of your own can be helpful, but you can also use online apps and tools to smartly manage the way you control your budget.
Find out ways to save
Saving money would already be a part of your lifestyle if you’re a one-income family. Saving on even minor expenses such as cutting down your cable can be worthwhile a few months down the road. You can be saving to buy something expensive, maybe enjoy a travel getaway in the summers or for the down payment of your dream home. Attach a goal for saving, and that will make it much easier to turn away from overspending on things you don’t need. A great way to save up is to use discounts and coupons as much as you can to deal with general household expenses. You can find several guides online which will teach you the tips and tricks on how you can use coupons to your benefit. For groceries, you can also use money saving membership cards and apps to save while shopping. The savings you do all-year round might also help in giving you a little bit of a buffer since there’s so much uncertainty right now.
Keep an emergency fund
If your family structure has just one person bringing home the bacon, chances are, saving for a rainy day might be extremely difficult. This is where you have to be smart with how you make use of your income. Stacking up some cash for emergencies is only wise; the current worldwide catastrophe which is showing no signs of when it will end is a great example. With everything being shut down and companies still not offering paid sick leaves, work is drying up; financial fluctuations are bound to occur. As important it is to build the emergency fund right now since the next few months are unpredictable, it is also crucial to understand panic-buying would only bring a drop to your emergency fund. If possible, keep your savings and emergency fund separate.
Shop wisely for insurance
Accidents and disasters can happen to anyone. But, if you’ve done initial preparations, chances are, it’s less of financial ruin for you and your family. Insurance is important to protect the financial foothold you’ve built over the years. As the world is suddenly undergoing a disastrous time, having adaptive insurance policies or a level-headed insurer who would understand the severity of the situation would unquestionably be a sigh of relief. As a one-income family, shopping wisely for necessary insurance coverage can land you up to a good amount of savings. Compare different insurance companies with what suits best your family lifestyle. Home, Health and Car Insurance are the basic ticks to safeguard yourself and your family from any major financial burdens in the future. It’s a good idea to select insurance companies that offer various discounts and find the best rates. Nowadays, Insurance companies offer different rates in link to different categories. For instance, auto insurance is legally mandated for anyone who owns and drives a car. Insurance companies categorize insurance rates with respect to age, driving record, vehicle and even profession, among others. Even if you’re a sole breadwinner of your home, your profession might be able to secure you the best discounted rates for auto insurance.
Make cash with side gigs
Don’t put all eggs in one basket; try to earn some extra cash on the weekends by working from home. There are plenty of opportunities online to earn something extra which would complement your part-time or full-time income. Even if you think you’re not prepared to sell a skill, there are millions of sources online that can help you learn, given some hours of dedication. Side gigs can actually help you immensely in building an emergency fund as well. You can pool-in the cash earned from the side hustle and keep it in a separate bank account to track how much you’ve earned. From decluttering your home and selling unwanted stuff to building a portfolio and freelancing to provide online services can earn you handsome cash if done correctly. Another way to build an online income is also turning your selling your traditional job description online. For instance, if you’re a teacher, you can create online courses and teach through platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity, etc or start a blog related to your present occupation and start online consultation, the opportunities to work online are endless. If you’re looking to find legitimate ways to make money from home, maybe start your research from here.
Decide while the world is on the hold
The idea of cutting costs and staying on a tight budget isn’t an easy pill to swallow. You have to be creative and thoughtful about where and how much you spend. Prioritizing expenses, getting that insurance to better sort your future and avoiding unnecessary expenditures is the best way to go. With all the time you’ve got in the midst of social distancing while the world is on hold, decide if you’re willing to hit the pavement in search of a better future for your family and roll up your sleeves for what’s coming.