Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety has been at record highs. And even though many people have returned to work – or some semblance of their original work lifestyle – economic concerns are rampant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at-home food prices have increased 10.8 percent since April 2021. And for a lot of people, that means either cutting corners or going without.
Gas prices have skyrocketed, companies are implementing hiring freezes, and inflation is on the rise. Couple these indicators with an already-shaky job market, and you may be wondering how you’re going to make ends meet in the coming months or years.
1. Make Savings Priority #1
A generally accepted guideline for financial security is to have enough liquid assets to cover your expenses for at least three to six months. That amount should include money for rent/mortgage, utilities, food, etc. If your savings account falls short of that goal, start cutting back on non-essentials, like premium entertainment and streaming services, but don’t attempt to reduce something like your monthly healthcare premiums. High deductible plans may sound good when you’re healthy, but one accident could land you in the hospital without adequate coverage and make your financial situation worse.
2. Delay Big Ticket Purchases and Projects
If you’ve been thinking about buying a new car or renovating your home, put those plans on the back burner for a while. Most consumers try to lock in a loan before rates go up, but if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, accumulating more debt will only worsen your situation.
3. Reduce Your Debt Load
Paying the minimum monthly balance on credit cards leads to untold cash spent on, you guessed it, interest fees. If you’ve been slowly chipping away at your high interest balances, try to increase your payment amount in tolerable increments based on your overall expenses. The lower the balance, the lower the interest fee. Tip: Fortune Magazine recommends checking with your credit card company to see if they have promotional rates available. If your credit’s good, you may be able to transfer the debt to a card with a lower APR by paying a small fee.
4. Stop Wasting Gas
Depending on where you live and the lifestyle you lead, transportation costs can be giving you a headache right now. Gas prices reached an all-time U.S. high of $5 per gallon nationwide in mid-June this year, and in some California counties, prices have surpassed the $7 mark. To save money, buy items online and have them delivered. The delivery charge is often less than a single gallon of gas, and you’ll save your time and energy for more important things. And if you do need to drive every day, consider carpooling, if possible, and map out your restaurant and shopping stops, so you can avoid doubling back or going out of your way unnecessarily.
5. Create a New Income Stream
When the going gets tough, the tough get creative. If you’re stuck in a dead-end job, now might be the time to look for better employment. Many industries are desperate for employees, so switching to a new field may be easier than ever. Of course, being a new hire can be problematic if the company suddenly needs to reduce expenses, leaving you unemployed completely. The financial gurus at Experian recommend adding a side hustle to your life to maximize your earning potential.
Supplementing your income with an outside venture or creative approach makes sense, especially if you’re willing to pick up a few hours in a part-time capacity where your skills are in demand. If the market in your area doesn’t have anything that suits your fancy, try clearing house and unloading unwanted items via eBay or the Marketplace on Facebook. And if you’re passionate about skincare and helping others achieve their skin goals, consider becoming a Lorde + Belle Brand Partner. By 2025, skincare is estimated to become a $181 billion industry, and as a member of our social selling community, you can work as much or as little as you want whenever and wherever you want.
Curious? Reach out to your Lorde + Belle Brand Partner to learn more today.