The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely disruptive. It adversely affected travel, financial markets, employment, a number of industries, and shipping.
It’s easy in a crisis to panic about our income, even if it’s real or perceived risk. Some of us have lost income through redundancy, furloughs or contracts cancelled. Others of us fear the loss of income in the coming months. Both are scary and anxious places to be.
Here is what you should do to help you get on top of your finances when times are tough.
Take a Look at Your Finances
List out all of your savings pots, ISAs, investments, account balances etc. Take note of any charges, dates and limits that apply on each account.
How accessible is this money to you right now? If you needed it, how quickly can you access it and at what cost? Ideally, we wouldn’t need to cash in any investments, but knowing what our options are is helpful.
Evaluate Your Spending
Take a look at your spending and any unused subscriptions. A lot of people are not keeping track of their spending habits and it often leads to paying for stuff you don’t even use.
Get Debts Under Control
If you have any savings, use them to clear outstanding credit cards or loans. Having debts hanging over you during redundancy or laying off is a nightmare. The cost of most debts vastly exceeds the interest earned on savings.
Yet, don’t use all your money paying off debts. It’s important you keep access to emergency funds if you need them. If you decide to repay debts, but it takes longer than planned to find a new job, you may need money later on for day-to-day living.
Look at Ways of Making Money
Ask yourself these questions: How much time can you dedicate? What are the most lucrative or helpful things you can do to generate income?
The good news is that even during this crisis, there are many industries and potential revenue streams that have remained open. From listing your freelance services online to signing up as a paid shopper or remote English teacher, there are many options for working safely from the comfort of your home. Here are some ways you can earn a little more money during this difficult time.
Teach English Online
Websites such as VIPKid, Qkids, and GoGoKids, are online platforms that offer virtual English immersion classes internationally. To work for these sites you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree, be able to pass a fairly difficult language test, and have access to a computer and stable Internet service.
Freelance Your Skills
Websites like Upwork, Freelancer.ca, and Fiverr allow graphic designers, computer scientists, accountants and other professionals to offer their services to companies with a project they need some help on. Some sites have more specific focuses, with Toptal targeting more advanced and experienced experts, while Aquent focuses on marketing professionals and creatives.
Fill Out Online Surveys
Simply by answering questions and participating in research, you can help soften the blow that COVID has caused; just be sure to keep your personal information close and be aware that some sites only pay in gift cards or reward points.