Career & Money Lessons COVID-19 Taught Us
How we can help ourselves and others
This is not the world’s first pandemic nor the first time we’ve collectively dealt with a crisis. But as we’ve observed, regardless of where you come from or the color of your skin, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the situation we’re in. We’ve seen the mistakes others have made and learned from them; hopefully, we've learned from ours, too. And as we grasp at straws to take back control and feel a semblance of normalcy, coronavirus, as well as the prolonged ECQ, continue to pose a threat upon humanity. This time, on our livelihood.
People are taking pay cuts or being laid off, the rest are starving. Businesses have shuttered, some permanently. And while we encourage helping out however we can, we need to be reminded to look out for ourselves, too. You can’t really lend a hand when it means cutting yours off. Below, career and money lessons we learned during COVID-19:
The importance of an emergency fund
We all set aside money for necessities, little nice-to-haves and savings. But there’s one more item we often forget about: emergency funds. Having one allows you to take care of your basic needs in cases of emergency, like job losses or pay cuts. A rule of thumb to follow, save three to six months of your monthly income and use only in case of emergencies. If you don’t have one, there’s no better time to start than now or while you still can.
Cut down your expenses
Review what you’ve spent in the past three months to see where you can cut down and how much more you can save. Be thorough and check everything, from your daily spend to monthly bills. Yes, especially those subscriptions. How many streaming services do you really need and do you use them all at the same time? It might not look like a lot, but small things eventually make up a bigger number when looked at monthly and yearly.
Budget, budget, budget
As you review your expenses, it’s also important to plan finances and organize them according to basic needs and nice-to-haves. Basic would be everything you’ll need to survive like food, water, electricity, internet connection, etc. Your nice-to-haves would be alcohol, snacks and additional streaming services or subscriptions. We’re not saying cut out everything from this category, but consider trimming it down.
Time to get a side gig
Whether you’re still employed or are concerned about your job security, now might be the time to explore diversifying your income. Maybe you have a talent in writing or design; there are Facebook communities and websites dedicated to connecting brands with freelance or independent talents. Find ways to monetize your skills or provide solutions to current demands, from hot meals to digital marketing services.
Now that you have the basics covered, see how you can help others. Do you have a little extra cash to donate to worthy causes or maybe even start your own? Have an extra pair of hands that can make meals for the hungry? Big or small, there’s always a way to lend a hand. As someone once taught us, “It doesn’t even have to be a grand gesture by a few people, but small bits of kindness by a large group of people.”