Uncertainty is an emotion that is likely taking hold of most of us right now, regardless of financial situation. So … where do you even begin to think about your finances in the midst of a global pandemic? Is it time to learn something new, or binge-watch a tv series until we’re allowed to resume our regularly scheduled lives?
Here’s the thing. In the flurry of messages about the latest thing to be cancelled today, there are some things that simply will not be cancelled, including (unfortunately) bill payments. The urge to ignore these can be strong, and for many, the stress of facing them can feel paralyzing. However, trust us when we say now is the time, more than ever, to take control of your financial situation, and we’re here to supply you with the resources to make this as painless as possible.
So – what do you need to know right now? How can a global pandemic affect your finances, and what can you do now that will help? As we write this, the reality is that many Canadians have been laid off or lost their jobs altogether. Some continue to work safely from home. Some are continuing to put themselves in the thick of it day after day to ensure the rest of us are safe. Shout out to our healthcare and essential service workers! The one thing we all have in common? Our finances.
What you can do right now for you
- Start a spending plan – We know, we know, now might not seem like the time, but trust us, you’ll be thankful for a framework going forward. Take advantage of our free budget plan by signing up on stnce.ca.
- Start an emergency fund – If you have additional funds, now is the time to stash them away for the future. If you’re working from home and saving on gas or transit costs, consider putting those funds away and start building some interest.
- In your best interest – If you’re using credit to get you through, try to use your source of credit with the lowest interest rate.
- Pause memberships – Gyms have closed down for the foreseeable future, and there are many gyms offering free online classes with live instructors. If you can press pause on a paid membership, that’s more money in your pocket.
- Get informed! We have compiled a list of our favourite finance and empowerment resources. Consider taking a break from the news and give your financial knowledge a boost!
What you can do right now if you are in a position to help others
- Make a donation – If you’re able to do so, donate to your local food bank.
- Order in! Most delivery services have adopted a “leave at the door” policy for everyone’s safety. And tip generously, if you can.
- Shop local – Your beloved local shops need you more than ever right now. If you are able to do so safely, get your goods from a local shop. Have what you need and still want to help? Consider buying a gift card to your favourite local shop for future use. They will appreciate the purchase.
- Condo sharing – If you live in a condo or apartment building and you have a surplus of non-perishables or toiletries, consider leaving a donation box in your lobby that your neighbours might appreciate.
- Did you miss a salon appointment? Consider paying your hairstylist / manicurist anyway. They will appreciate it, and your hair will appreciate a break from heat styling!
What we can ALL do right now
- Check in with your loved ones.
- Take regular breaks from scrolling through the news.
- Breathe. Go outside.
- Wash your hands and PLEASE practice social distancing.
Be kind to yourselves, and each other.
From the team at stnce