While it’s safe to say that many, many Americans are feeling economic pain right now, there are still plenty of us in limbo. We’re unsure if we’ll be coming off of our furlough, or if we do then maybe our hours won’t be fully restored. Maybe a pink slip is in the not too distant future. Plenty of families with small kids at home are doing the math on childcare costs without public education in their district. Whatever the situation, we should all be looking at ways to brace ourselves for the coming months.
Learn to Live Below Your Means
If you’re in a position to choose where your money is going on a monthly basis, it might be time to cut back. Learn what you actually need in order to live comfortably but frugally.
Downsize in Advance
Check out the housing market in your area and consider where you’re at now. Are you able to move to a smaller home and bank the difference? With so many people staying inside more, it might be difficult to imagine fewer square feet. However, location may matter less and you could move farther out of the pricy areas.
Tidy Up Your Resume
Even if you’re still employed, make sure your resume is up to date. Some of the best parts of a resume and cover letter are hard statistics on improvements you made to the bottom line at your last job. It’s hard to get these numbers after the fact.
Figure Out Big Bills
Most people are aware of their monthly bills, but can easily forget when their biannual car insurance payment comes due. If you’ll be living off of savings, make sure you add those costs in.
Learn to Maintain Your Appliances
This is always good advice, but it’s especially true now. The last thing you want is to have to pay to replace your washer when you’re also out of work. There’s often simple maintenance that can be done to appliances on your own that can extend their life.
Prepare Mentally for Uncertainty
Your brain hates uncertainty, particularly in times of high stress. Learn to recognize when you’re getting overwhelmed and find ways to redirect your attention to something less anxiety-inducing.
Sell Off Items You Don’t Need Now
Decluttering can feel therapeutic, and if you have any items that are easier to sell, you might be able to make a little bit of money from it. Getting rid of stuff can have an added benefit of helping you realize you could be living in a smaller space.
Start Talking to Neighbors
While we can’t exactly be buddy-buddy with strangers right now, it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors. See if you can trade goods or services.
Consider the New Opportunities
While this is a unique situation we’re all going through right now, it’s still true that new opportunities have been cropping up as they have in the past.
Discuss the Future with Family
Start conversations now with your parents and extended family about what the option might be in a worst-case scenario. Don’t make assumptions about the type of help you think you can get if things go sideways.