I like most people never thought that they would ever be subjected to a pandemic. Therefore no thought was given as to how they would manage financially. For those who are experiencing the COVID 19 crisis, money issues for many have become a reality.
I found that one of the biggest hits for many people is the loss of income because they were laid off from their jobs, mostly due to shutdowns, and for some, this was temporary. Although governments in many countries did offer some supplementary help for many families, this fell short of their needs.
It soon became a necessity for many people being financially affected to make some rapid changes. Which also included me. Some managed this quite well where others panicked and have found themselves in dire situations.
Although there is hope on the horizon regarding personal health and protection, this is not eliminating the worry about the financial situation. For this, no vaccination is going to protect them from financial hardships.
It means taking a look at the current financial situation and also doing some forecasting for the future. I start by looking at what the present circumstances are. For me, I consider the most important things are putting food on the table and keeping a roof over my head. Two critical aspects to surviving but also two that have become dramatically affected due to the circumstances include the following:
Food: There is no shame in turning to food banks for assistance. What will help is to learn how to stretch the food provided for us, as long as possible. It means being more creative with cooking. I have more that I have had more time to do some cooking research and can dedicate more time for food preparation. The key is to use the food in ways that will still be appealing to the family. Most of the foods offered by organizations are based on nutrition and not on convenience in preparing it.
Creatively use the leftovers. There is no room for waste during these trying times. Food that is left over should be repurposed into another recipe, so it is used to its fullest extent.
For those people who don’t rely on food banks, they should implement frugal shopping. This can be difficult as shoppers don’t have as much access to the number of stores as they do in normal circumstances. Many of us have reduced our shopping trips to protect ourselves from getting or spreading this virus. As a result, we are not traveling around to several stores to take advantage of the weekly bargains.
I look at the weekly specials that are being offered at the grocery store that I use, then plan the meals around these specials. This can really save some money.
Housing: This is a potential problem that can be a real concern. Even if the landlord is currently restricted from taking action, what happens when the restrictions are lifted? The only viable solution that may be present is to try and negotiate with the landlord now. Be honest as to what your current situation is. For example, if you expect to be recalled to work when the threat is past, let your landlord know this. Then have some type of answer as to how you will make payments to catch up on the arrears.
If there is suspicion that there is no negotiating with the landlord, try to have a contingency plan, one that can be implemented if there may be a pending eviction action to be fulfilled in the future. In my case, I spoke with some family members who would be willing to share accommodation with me for a short time. Plan on what you can do for storing your furniture. Do your research now as to what organizations may be available to assist you.
It is difficult to be pro-active regarding this housing situation when there are so many other stressors to deal with. But being prepared will help keep things under control and help you better deal with any situation that may arise. Having some plan of action is much better than having to deal with an urgent matter that requires immediate action, and no resources have been sought out. I found that by doing this I have some peace of mind.