Although it is too early to take stock of the lessons learnt during this pandemic since it is still ongoing but we can still try to take a look into what have we learned uptil now. The biggest lesson as we all know that and come to realize the hard way is that the life is unpredictable and without health one cannot work and we need to build up our savings however we can even if we have to stop our temptations and spend unncesssary amount of money on stuff which we don’t need and which we can do without. I am in the same boat as most of the people are since I have also been laid off three times and have to completely cash out my retirement plans to pay for ongoing expenses. The crucial thing is in the United States, your job is just hanging by a thread and as numerous surveys have come out stating that at least one third of people don’t have even 400-600 dollars for emergencies. So as life is unpredictable so are jobs so don’t listen to any financial adviser say one should have six months emergency funds. As jobs have become scarce and also outsourced, it is better to have a one year emergency funds at hand and if you can save more the better that is.
Where you are used to buy many shirts and trousers and clothing each year, you make it last longer than one year until your bank balance increases to a one year expenses level.
I don’t think I have to repeat this but your loved ones, family, relatives and friends are your most precious resources, check on them frequently and when this pandemic is over, go them and hug them and remind them how much you love them and miss them and try to spend more time with them instead of in front of computers or Television screens.
Another thing that this pandemic has taught us, although not new, but still relevant, is to have side hustle or second stream of income. If you are unable to do a side hustle on the weekdays due to your regular job, then on the weekend or at night you can do it. It maybe one hour at night and few hours on the weekend so that you have extra money on hand and if you ever get unemployed again, you may expand that business to survive. With Internet and technology growing faster each day, one can easily have their own business. Even if you don’t have access to high speed internet or no internet, there are things you can do with the word of mouth in your local area and when you generate that extra income, you can put it towards buying a computer and have internet access to expand your business beyond your local area.
Lately store or no name brands are becoming a popular alternative to name brands. You should buy store brand or no name brands which although lower in quality a bit are also lower in price and they are as good to eat and wear and use as the name brands. Although some people obsess about organic food but as money becomes tight, one should use the regular foods as the chance of dying by eating organic and non organic food is the same The best example is this Virus as I am sure that of all the people killed by this virus, there are sure to be people who were obsessed in buying organic food. And believe I have tried organic food and they don’t taste must different than the regulars. It is all in one’s head and it hits your wallet pretty hard when one needs to save money.
These are some of the financial and moral lessons that I can think off right now but as the pandemic progresses, we will learn more about what is important to us and what is not.