With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the resulting uncertainty around health, security and finances, it’s easy (and understandable) for us to be caught up in the negativity and doom and gloom.
There is no doubt that the economy has taken a massive hit – and there’s undoubtedly more to come. And we’re not suggesting for one second that you bury your head in the sand or put on a brave Pollyanna face and keep going as normal.
But what we do believe is that panic will get you nowhere. Now is the time to take a practical, considered approach to your finances so that the impact on your situation is as controlled as it can be, and when the markets return to normal (which they will eventually) you’ll be in a position to recover, or even build on your financial wellbeing.
So if you’re a person who keeps putting off reviewing your finances, or has it sitting buried in a long to-do list, we definitely recommend pushing financial management up the priority list.
So here are 7 strategies to boost your financial wellbeing:
(1) Speak to a financial expert
We’re here to help you and to answer any questions you might have. Don’t sit at home and worry, jump on a call and get the answers and advice you need.
(2) Review your financial goals
Understand where you’re heading, and how the current and potential changes might impact you reaching your goals.
We’re not saying give up on your goals – not by a long shot. But review them and put an adapted plan in place to reach them.
(3) Know your budget
Now’s the time to understand exactly where your money is going each week and month. Having a clear understanding of your current spending will give you peace of mind, and also let you identify areas that you could cut back if needed. You might even choose to cut back on spending now, to give yourself more of a savings buffer for the next uncertain months.
It doesn’t have to be seen as this giant job – break it down into small 15 minute chunks and work away at it bit by bit.
There are many tools and templates available to help you track your spending and build your budget. We recommend MyWealthPortal so that you know exactly where you stand at any time.
(4) Review your big expenses
In situations like these there are often deals to be had as companies fight to keep hold of their customers. Review your utilities, insurance companies, streaming providers and telephone/internet companies, and ask if there are any incentives or offers available.
(5) Self-efficacy is everything
It can sometimes feel like you’re sitting back and watching this all happen, like a badly-written movie. But being proactive and taking control of your own situation – and believing that your actions will make a difference – is the only way to feel confident that you’ll ride the storm.
(6) Don’t twist yourself into knots, stay focused on the things you can control
Focus your time and attention on the things you can control – your budget, your spending, your planning, your saving — and know that each small action you take adds up to having an impact on your financial wellbeing.
(7) Treat opportunities seriously
Amongst the challenges that a period like this throws at us, there are also opportunities. Consider the opportunities that become available, understand your ability to take advantage of these opportunities. And if you’re not sure, get financial advice.
Uncertainty and change – especially in the financial arena – is a fact of life. But these are just some of the things we can do and safeguards we can put in place to make sure our financial wellbeing is taken care of. Don’t put it off any longer. There’s never been a more important time than now to make your finances a priority.