It’s fair to say that the COVD-19 pandemic took people through the wringer. Everyone suffered from businesses to general consumers.
Many companies were forced to shut their doors during several lockdowns and there were a few businesses that could not recover once the situation improved. Similarly, other businesses were forced to radically change their business model. Some switched entirely to an online business model with many closing their highstreet stores.
Of course, this impacted the average worker. Some found they no longer had positions or permanent jobs. Others found that their salaries dropped because they were no longer able to get the same amount of COVID. In the wake of COVID, freelancing has also become more popular.
While this may literally provide people with more financial freedom, it also leads to a dangerous situation for individuals. On freelance contracts, employees can no longer get the support that they need from businesses including health insurance plans and bonuses that are often used to cover extra expenditures.
Many people were hopeful that vaccinations and a slowly improving situation surrounding COVID would also help the economy bounce back. For a short period this was true. However, it wasn’t long before several other variables began to rock the economy.
The first was inflation. Inflation has been growing out of control for a while with the cost of living slowly but surely increasing. For the general consumer, the main impact has been the food bill. Many food items are now far more expensive than they used to be. These little yet significant rises in price all add up and put people under far more pressure overall.
Then, war arrived as Russia tested their might against Ukraine. Governments across the world warned the sanctions required to put pressure on Russia to move back would hit everyone including the finances of the general public. This proved to be true as the cost of fuel soared beyond control. As well as effecting prices at the pump, it also created a staggering impact on energy prices for homes. Some reports revealed that the poorest would face the choice of heating their home or buying food.
As devastating as this is, the worst part is that government officials have suggested that the worst is still yet to come. This is what people now must contend with. Not the problems of today but the threat and the financial implications that tomorrow brings.
How can they do this? Financial professionals claim that there are various steps that individuals can take to bring their costs under control and ensure that their financial situation stabilizes.
First, it is important to ensure that you are price checking different purchases. Price checking as many purchases as possible will always help you save more money over an extended period. For instance, you might want to think about checking the prices of things like fuel. Gas stations are in a situation right now where they are currently competing for customer demand. As such, it’s common for certain gas stations to lower their prices as they strive to get more people to pay at their pump.
Another area where you can save costs is on food bills. As mentioned, the cost of food is rising and this is likely going to continue to be an issue over the next several months and potentially the next year. To deal with this, you should make sure that you do check which stores are providing the lowest prices. The good news is that this is easier than ever these days. There are various websites online that will reveal which store is selling products at the lowest cost. Similarly, you might also want to explore substitute items that are going to be cheaper to purchase overall. Buying in bulk might also help in the long term if there are items that you know you are going to need.
Avoiding Heavy Costs
Another point to consider is how you can avoid the issue of heavy costs. The problem with heavy costs is that they can cripple you financially because you often can’t fully prepare for them. Except, you can if you take the right preemptive measures.
One of the ways that you can do this is by completing the right checks. For instance, one of the most expensive bills that you can be hit with is a home repair. For instance, it’s possible that your heating stops working. Right now is the worst time for this to occur. You can avoid this type of scenario by arranging an annual or biannual inspection of home systems like your heating. This could save you from a costly repair or even a replacement that you won’t be able to afford without exploring the option of a loan.
Another heavy cost that you can avoid is car trouble. Cars often have trouble throughout the year. There’s a lot that can go wrong with your vehicle. But it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune to repair it and get it back on the road. For instance, you can think about exploring an option like CarShield. If you’re wondering if CarShield is worth it, you only need to look at reviews. Customers claim that this type of coverage has helped them avoid thousands in repair costs when their car has failed.
It’s also worth considering going green as a way to save money and ensure that you are in a more financially stable position. Energy costs are rising and they are expected to continue to rise over the next year or so. As such, it does make sense to work to cut these down to size as much as possible. One of the ways that you can do this is by going green.
If you want to make a larger change that is going to impact your energy bills, then you could consider investing in solar panels for your home. If you have a little money in savings, this is a worthy investment that will pay for itself in just a couple of years. More importantly it will put you in a stronger position for the future.
Of course, there are other smaller changes that you can make too. For instance, if you have a smart meter it’s easy to know which pieces of technology in your home are costing you a fortune in energy. That means that you can replace them and bring your energy bill back down to a reasonable level.
The Second Income Or Side Hustle
Experts tend to agree that everyone these days should have a second income or a side hustle in place. This, they claim, is just smart financial sense. With the right side hustle, individuals will have an extra cushion of cash that they can always fall back on. This can even help them avoid issues like mounting debt. That’s important as a debt crisis is one of the storms that is just one the edge of the horizon.
So which side hustles should people be exploring right now? Well, there are lots of possibilities that could be beneficial. One option would be passive incomes which we’re going to discuss a little further down. However, there are also active opportunities. For instance, you might want to start blogging. By blogging you can write about things that you are passionate about or that interest you. At the same time, you can work to monetize your blog overtime. This will be possible by creating high quality content that attracts both readers and businesses alike.
Finally, if people do have money available to spare, then now is the time to explore new investment opportunities. People often assume that investments are going to be too expensive for the average individual. However, this is not the case. Investments are accessible to anyone. For instance, individuals who are on a limited or low income should explore penny stocks. Penny stocks are accessible to all people and come with the potential for significant gains while also being low risk. This makes them perfect if your ability to invest is limited.
Similarly, some individuals struggle with investments because they don’t have the time to commit to this possibility. However, there are passive incomes that can be incredibly beneficial. Passive investments can still provide the same high returns as other choices that are available on the market. Interest rates are unstable right now. But experts do still recommend exploring high-yield savings accounts. It is however important to ensure that the rates of interest are not made redundant by rising levels of inflation.
It’s clear then that the financial issues are far from over for businesses or the general public. Governments are hopeful that by mid 2023, the situation will have improved dramatically. However, that means that there is more than a year where times will be hard and even then improvements are not a guarantee. Some analysts have suggested that it will likely take decades before the full impact of the last several years are behind us and by that time, there will likely be a new crisis to contend with.