These are not typical times.
We are all facing conditions that most of us don’t really have a present frame of reference, and whatever the outcome might be, there will certainly be lasting effects that will be with us, maybe forever.
But a lasting effect is not a bad thing of itself - it all depends on how we frame it in our minds and how we can make use of the change in our favor.
Take your finances. Certainly, there are things that may be weighing more on your budget, but the chance to take action is there. And to learn. Maybe this can show you that you are wasting money in ways you didn’t realise.
To help you get through this without losing the chance to prepare for your future, we are launching the Quarantine Savings Challenge.
The basic principle: look at your past statements to identify expenses that you aren’t undertaking because of the situation, or that you can easily live without, even after all this goes away.
What you get is an amount that could be reallocated to necessary expenses, to an emergency fund or towards your investment goals.
And if you need some inspiration or easy wins, we have some for you too.
By far the easiest on the list. You should be self isolating (#stayathome, anyone?), so any money spent on public transportation, tolls or gas can be easily set aside.
If you don’t really need to leave your home, there is a potentially large slice of income there that can be channelled somewhere more productive.
Everyone needs to buy things, that’s how it works. Because we don’t make all the stuff we need by ourselves, someone has to, and to get them we need to buy them.
But this time is a premium opportunity to redefine your priorities. What do you really need? It’s fine to want some things too, but we bet that at this moment you are not actually longing for a new pair of shoes or that shirt you once glanced at.
And not only that, but shopping for food too. Be particularly mindful about not hoarding goods that will spoil before you have a chance to eat. Take what you need, otherwise you may end up wasting it or just plain overeating.
In that sense, it might be a good time to get a clear look at your priorities and spend accordingly. As for the rest, save and invest.
This point goes along with the one made above. After all, it also comes down to priorities and what you need.
And at this moment, what many of us feel like we really need is each other.
Think back to all the situations where you meet your friends. For drinks, going out to eat, shows and other social gatherings. It’s amazing to notice how most of the ways we interact with our friends actually means that you spend money.
Nowadays, you get by with video chat and text apps. It is not the same, of course, but it shows that everything can be meaningful and simpler at the same time - this will leave room for growing our finances.
Travel and other big ticket expenses
Who doesn’t love the idea of a trip to a tropical paradise to get some rest and fresh air?
Or to get the latest generation gadgets?
Sure, you can save for it, and if it really is important to you, don’t deprive yourself to the extreme.
Just make sure you are allocating your expenses for things that actually bring you joy and long lasting memories. And of course, within your means
Now that you may have to postpone your trip plans for a while, or even consider to cancel them, it may be smart to keep that budget aside - preferably working for you.
Now we take a turn to the other side. It’s one thing to see where you can cut on expenses, but your mind should also be balancing growth.
And this now goes to a kind of currency a lot of people now have more than before: time.
So what can you do? Investing has become democratized, are there any investment options you can get?
Or thinking from a different angle, is there a service you can offer through the internet in a video chat? Anything that you just love doing and that you could sell?
And if you are discouraged from starting a business, a downturn could actually be a good time to make it work.
What about you?
What can you cut?
Where can you grow?
What can you do to take this chance to rewire your spending and start making a better future for yourself? And remember that you can help other people doing it too.