Over the past weeks, we have been forced to lockdown and find new ways to live, work and socialize within the confines of our homes. Most of us have successfully managed to adjust and in doing so we have most likely realized several interesting new things about ourselves.

When it comes to money and finances, these are the financial lessons that we all can learn from this pandemic:

  • Curb your spending.

This is the first and most important financial lesson that the lockdown taught me – buy things only when you need and not when you want. It is important to understand and realize the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. Through buying just essentials, I was really surprised to find how I could survive and did quite well with the things I had in hand.

With limited access to shops, goods and services, items that we previously thought of as necessities may now come to be regarded as in fact luxuries.

Revisit the meaning of ‘necessary’ goods. Through the lockdown we have been schooled in what essential vs non-essential items are and we can use this judgement for shopping trips in future.

  • Save for a rainy day!

The Coronavirus magnified a huge issue amongst South Africans. Many people do not know how to save and/or budget for a rainy day.

Always attempt having an emergency fund savings which provides for 3 – 6 months of your salary.

  • Create and stick to your budget.

The current economic crisis has everyone scrambling to budget for the long months ahead. But we should not only be budgeting in a crisis. Make it part of everyday life. A budget is the best way to track income and expenditure and pay off debts faster.

I have learnt to discipline myself into sticking to my budget and realized that it is most definitely possible to do so in future.

  • Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle

We have found ways to use less, more sparingly and find new uses for items that we would have previously scrapped. We have started recycling and finding ways to be more self – sufficient which I must admit is a great feeling!

  • Exercise costs nothing

Exercise is free to everyone. A small rug or a square patch of lawn is enough space to conduct a full-body workout.

If you are not sure how to go about exercising, Google Play Store is loaded with free exercise and yoga apps, and there are thousands of free YouTube workout videos available.

I, am a devout fan of the DownDog App

Ive downloaded and practice yoga, barre and HIIT workouts from this App, from the comfort of my home at NO cost.

  • Deal with your debt

As Dave Ramsey says “the only good debt is a debt that is paid off”

Know your debt situations and work towards clearing it.

  • Opt for more home cooked meals and less convenience shopping

Without access to Uber-eats, take-aways, coffee-on-the-run and ready-made meals, we may have discovered just how much of our disposable income we spend on convenience goods. Lockdown means no traffic, fewer commitments, less ‘busy-ness’, and more time to plan and enjoy homemade meals which truly is a cost saving.

It is empowering to have control over your finances. Take the lessons that you have learnt in lockdown and apply them to the way you manage money in the future.

Should you wish to make the lockdown a part of your financial success story and require assistance setting up and sticking to your budget, paying off debts or would like to join a FREE savings challenge – contact me.

What have been the financial lessons that you have learnt during this challenging time?

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