You might think it is impossible to improve your financial situation while spending a lot of time at home during the pandemic but it is possible. The news is filled with how companies are shutting their doors putting their operations to a screeching halt. Apart from essential sectors, a lot of businesses are struggling at the moment.
In order to flatten the curve, a lot of states are asking people to shelter in place. This is meant to slow down the infection from one person to another. As challenging as this is for your finances, it is a necessary step to help keep you safe. The result is that you have a lot more time on your hands staying at home.
When your income is affected, you might think that it is an impossible task to improve your financial situation. This is because you need your income to be able to pay for all your expenses as well as proceed with your financial pans. Without it, your hands are tied and you have no idea how to move forward with your finances.
However, there are ways to help you make improvements to your finances even if you are just staying at home. One thing you have a lot of now is time. In the past, you might have been racing around to get to the office and get home all tired. This did not leave you enough time to go over your finances. Here are a few ways you can use your time productively in improving your money situation.
Review your credit card statement
To help you improve your financial situation even while at home, take advantage of the time you have and review your credit card statements. In the past, you might have been used to just glancing over some of the details and just focusing on the total amount. Now that you have a lot of time on your hands, you can look over your statements in great detail.
A good place to start is the credit card charges in your statement. You can now go through them one by one. More than the amount, you can compare the details on your receipts with the ones in your statement. The idea is that they all have to match especially the amount. This is how you know that you are being charged correctly. If you find inconsistencies, you need to call your lender immediately to clear it up
Looking at your statements will also give you an idea of how you use your credit cards. You need to remember that there are ways to maximize your cards. For one, look at the cashback, rebates, and any other reward program that your cards have. There are times you get more rewards if you use your cards for specific purchases. Take note of these and make the necessary adjustments.
Look over your credit report
One way to help you improve your financial situation while at home is to look at your credit report. The Federal Trade Commission explains that you are entitled to one (1) free copy of your credit report every 12 months. This is under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the report can be requested from nationwide credit reporting bureaus.
Your credit report is the basis for your credit score which summarizes your financial credit standing with lenders and creditors. Simply put, the higher your score, the more lenders can extend their services to you. This can come in handy especially now that you might be looking for credit limit increases or taking out a new card to help with the expenses.
Revisit your long-term goals
As the pandemic sweeps through the nation, you will find it necessary to make a lot of changes with your finances. You need to do this if you want to improve your financial situation while at home. Again, you have the luxury of time while sheltering in place. You can use this time to go over your long term goals and make the necessary adjustments to make it more feasible.
While economies are taking a hit and business operations are impacted, you would need to realign your finances to help you meet your current needs. What this means for your long term goals is that you might have to put off or move your target dates. This is because you might not have the financial capability to stay on track.
It does not mean that you will completely stop and let go of your goals in life. You might just have to move your timeline further down so you can use whatever resources you have to manage your current finances. Maybe set aside a lower amount for your retirement savings so you can put more into your emergency fund. Use the time you have now to go over your goals and see how you can move them around.
Unleash your creativity and create new financial hobbies
As most of you are asked to shelter in place, you have a lot of extra time at home and you can use this to create new financial hobbies. For one, new hobbies can help give you some sense of normalcy in the middle of this health crisis. It is difficult once everyone was asked to shelter in place since you had to put an end to a lot of routines and habits.
While you look to build up and rely on a new routine, you can definitely look into hobbies that can help you improve your financial situation. It can be creating online content you can market and sell to other people. This can be e-books or even video tutorials about a hobby you know of. You can also create and sell items online.
Hobbies can also be about planting vegetables you can use at home. This can be a great way to help you pass time as you shelter in place. It can also help you lower down your food costs since you are growing your own vegetables. This will also give you the chance to prepare healthy meals for you and your family. It is important that you stay healthy especially with the pandemic sweeping through different states in the country.
Widen the gap between income and expenses
There are a number of ways you can widen the gap between your income and expenses where you end up with a lot more funds on-hand. The idea is pretty simple, lower your expenses, and increase your sources of income. The latter is a little more challenging to accomplish nowadays but not a totally impossible task.
To help you lower your expenses, you can take on a frugal lifestyle approach. This means finding ways to spend less than what you have already budgeted for. Looking to increase your income might be a little harder. One thing you can do is to declutter at home and sell off items you no longer need. It helps you earn money and clear space at home as well.
Improve your financial situation with a healthier body
It might not make sense in the beginning but the healthier you are, the more you can manage your finances better. One benefit this can give you is that you lower the chance of getting sick. This is a big deal especially now that there is a health crisis going on. You get to stay at home rather than worry about going to your doctor for a check-up. The World Health Organization shares that regular physical activity helps your mind and body especially during these times.
The healthier you are, the more energy you have to put into side hustles while you are at home. You are mentally prepared and physically able to bear the additional strain that extra work puts on you. It can be a few late nights or having the ability to concentrate on projects even while you are at home. This can help you get an extra income while staying at home.
There are opportunities to help you improve your financial situation even while you are asked to stay at home and shelter in place. You just need to identify opportunities to help you with this goal and make your time financially productive.