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There is no escaping the influence of the covid-19 outbreak and whether you are living in the Philippines, the United States of America or Europe, you will have been affected by the social and economic impact of this terrible pandemic. During times of global crisis, it can feel extremely difficult to think clearly enough to prioritise your spending and manage your finances, but now more than ever, good money management is absolutely essential. In this article, we explain how you can make sure you are getting your financial priorities right so that you can make the most of your money.

Work Out What Matters to You

Priorities will be vastly different, depending on the sort of person you are and the kind of lifestyle you live. For families with young children, their needs will obviously need to come first. For couples or those in long term relationships, things may be slightly different. Similarly, those who are single or who live alternative lifestyles will need to consider what they value the most and what they can live without. Think carefully about the way you live and the things that you cannot do without. Obviously, food and essentials need to be considered, but so do things like clothing, entertainment and the cost of any hobbies or special interests you might have. There is no right or wrong when it comes to making a list of priorities and everybody’s will be slightly different, depending on the sort of person they are and the way they live their lives.

Consider the cost of the things you can’t do anymore

Before the viral outbreak, things were quite different. Trips out to the local park, regular visits to friends’ houses and holidays in other countries were commonplace for families. Single people often enjoyed meeting others in bars, restaurants and nightclubs and couples would spend time taking trips out to see plays, films, and concerts together. Think carefully about all of the things you can no longer do and consider how much this used to cost you. Though we all hope that these kinds of activities will be available for us again in the future, nobody really knows when that will be. This means that you can potentially save quite a lot of money, or at least use it in slightly different ways. The cash that you would have spent on trips to the local bar could now be spent on ordering drinks at home and any money you would usually pay for things like transport to and from work could be used to make your home office a more enjoyable environment to be.

Be realistic about the situation in your country

Though some countries are already returning to work, some are still in the depths of lockdown, with no sign of social distancing measures being eased for some time. Think about how your life is likely to be for the next 12 months and adjust your financial budget accordingly. For families with children, things like the cost of educational resources, toys, and other things to keep the kids occupied will be important. Similarly, ways for parents to relax and enjoy themselves will become far more important now that many of the usual outlets are no longer available. If you are based in a country that is likely to experience civil unrest or food shortages, think carefully before wasting money on luxuries or nonessential purchases. Thankfully, this situation has been relatively rare so far, but it is a serious consideration for some people around the world.

Planning for a return to normal life

What “normal life” will look like after the corona virus has been defeated is hard to define. There are so many unanswered questions about vaccines, testing, and the possibility of mutation that politicians and medical professionals are reluctant to offer any concrete information about when we can expect to stop living in this heavily restricted way. That said, planning for a return to normal life is a way of keeping up your morale and will also help you to make plans for the future. Consider whether you want to start a new business, change jobs, move to a new house, or even relocate to a different country. Though you might not be able to make any solid plans, tentatively organising your finances in a way that allows you a degree of flexibility when it comes to making future plans is a good strategy.

Charities and helping others

One of the very few positives that has arisen from the current situation is that people all around the world are beginning to think of others a little more. If you are in a position to do so, giving to charity can be a way of helping people who are less fortunate than yourself. Even if you don’t want to give to a registered organisation, you can still potentially help those around you by donating to local food banks, soup kitchens or homeless shelters. There is obviously no obligation to do this, but for many people, thinking about how to help those around them has become more of a priority in recent times, thanks to the way the corona virus affected those in difficult situations.

Alternatives and backup options

For people who enjoy spending their time going out to concerts, theatres, nightclubs, and events, this is an exceedingly difficult time. Similarly, people who enjoy sports and outdoor activities have been robbed of some of the most important aspects of their lives. Thinking of alternative ways to enjoy yourself and fill in the gaps the viral outbreak has left in your life is challenging, but it is possible. Though nothing can replace human interaction, there are now a number of online alternatives that can help. Explore what is available to you and consider spending the money you would have used on social activities or playing sports to invest in new interests and hobbies. Providing you are not spending irresponsibly, enjoying activities that make you happy is one of the best things you can do during difficult times like this.

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