Jumpstart Your Financial Recovery

by Shaunna Privratsky
Jumpstart Your Financial Recovery photo

Did you lose your job during the global pandemic? Here is a quick guide to getting back on your feet and getting your finances back on track.

Recently, the world was forced to pause its frantic pace. Many people suffered financial hardship, lost their jobs, lost their businesses, or lost money in the stock market. But perhaps we found something as well; a newfound appreciation for the basics – shelter, food, health and the safety of our family and friends.

If you were one of the millions of people who lost their job during the global pandemic, you need a fast start on the road to recovery. When things start up again, you want to be ready. Here is a quick guide to getting back on your feet and getting your finances back on track.

Secure your income.

If you haven’t already, talk with your mortgage lender or landlord to suspend payments or defer them. This will give you some breathing room. Also contact credit card companies, utilities, internet providers and other companies whose bills you’ve been unable to pay.

If you’ve lost your job, use this time to research job possibilities for when things open up again. Everyone is going to need workers and your skills should be in high demand. You might want your old job back or something similar, but be sure to negotiate the best terms, such as better pay, benefits, vacation time or paid sick leave.

This could be the perfect time to venture into a new job or career path. Maybe it is something you have always wanted to do or it is an opportunity that you just can’t pass up. Utilize your degree, delve into a passion or expand a side gig into a fulltime job.

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Prioritze your finances.

When you have secured your income, prioritize your finances. Make a spending plan or a budget that works for you. Start with the basics and begin repaying debt. Come up with a plan for repayment that is doable.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, or you had to use it to get by during the pandemic, start adding to it again. Figure out exactly how much you can save each month, and put away that money first. If you wait until everything else is paid, there will likely be nothing left. If nothing else, being suddenly jobless has taught us the extreme importance of an emergency fund.

Add some entertainment or fun to the budget. Once movie theaters open up, go see the latest thriller or family comedy. Or take your loved ones out to a restaurant, as long as it fits in the plan. Cutting everything extra out will only backfire.

Stick to your budget.

Once you have your plan in place, stick to it. Your debt will go down and your emergency fund will grow, bringing back your peace of mind. Unexpected things may come up and you will need to adjust your plan. Don’t give up! Remind yourself that you, like so many others, are recovering from a financial setback and that everything will get better. Remember that a budget gives you the freedom to know what you can spend after all the bills and necessities are paid.

The greatest gift to come out of this is the time we had to take stock of what is really important; our health, our family and friends and our livelihood. When we are able to get back into the world and start a new chapter in our lives, we will be ready to tackle our finances and jumpstart our financial recovery. Life will get back on track and your finances will too.

Reviewed May 2020

About the Author

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for her free newsletters at The Discount Diva.

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