Do you still remember your life pre-COVID? Me? I still do but they are starting to become faded memories. I remember dining out on a daily basis, partying on the weekend, travelling at least once a month, and splurging on things I don’t really need. There is no denying that I was financially reckless. Yes, I hardly made any savings. Now, we are under the pandemic and lockdown, going out has been limited. I have been able to restart my savings. And you should too! Here are 4 ways the pandemic made me financially smarter:
There are many reasons to be financially smarter these days. Everything is uncertain. You will never know when that extra cash on hand or in your savings will come in handy. Especially with the unemployment rate spiking up in the country! Good thing is while we are stuck at home, there are fewer ways for us to spend and more chances to save up. And these are some of the ways it helped me:
- Set your budget
If you are like me who still has a job despite the global pandemic, well, congratulations! At least, that is another burden and fear lifted from us, right? As for us, we have been working from home since March 2020 and this totally changed my lifestyle for the better. There are now fewer avenues for me to spend and thus, making it easier for me to track my spendings.
So, what I did at the start is I listed down all of my expenses and bills. Then the moment I receive my salary, I will pay them off right away. With the spare money that I have left, I will leave it on my account to be decided on where to put them next. Most often than not, I send it to my savings account.
- Open a Savings Account
Which leads me to my second point. Our company opened a payroll account for us and that is where our salary directly enters. I pay my bills straight from that. Then the remainder, I send directly to my savings account. Banking is easier now as well with many banks offering online banking such as GCash. In fact, I opened mine at the comfort of my couch with my phone. Few days later, my debit card arrived by mail!
- Identify Wants vs Needs
Of course, being frugal is a nice thing but we must also not deprive ourselves of the good stuff. I regularly get temptations to buy a new Nintendo Switch game or to upgrade to the latest iPhone. If I were the younger me, I would give in right away. But I am an adult now and a smarter one at that. So, it is now important for me to identify my wants and needs.
In doing so, I get to identify which expenses would bring great value to my hard-earned money. And yes, I also learned how to let go of my credit cards the hard way. But that story is some another time!
- Explore Other Income Opportunities
So you now have the spare cash that you decided not to spend on material things. Are you going to let it stay in your savings account and let your bank grow interest out of it, which by the way, you can compute for yourself!
Or are you going to invest it in stocks. How about in real estate? Or probably start a small business. Our 9-5 jobs are a great source of income but if you have the opportunity to earn more, why not, right?
So, I hope these financial tips will help you to become financially smarter! Do you have more tips? Sound off in the comments below! 🙂