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11 Pandemic Budgeting Tips for 2021 | Sabrena Sharonne |

Thrive Financially

Most of us are struggling. We are struggling to get back on track financially after the pandemic scare. Others are struggling to make sure they are ready for any such scare in the future.

Whichever your struggle, you can succeed. Here are a few tips that can help.

Move Out of your Rented Apartment/Home

No, don’t live on the streets. The point is to save as much you can. The easiest way to save is to cut back on your recurring expenses such as rent.

If possible, move in with a relative or a friend. You can make arrangements to share rent or you may offer to do chores in exchange for free accommodation. The longer you can cut back on rent the better.

You will find that if you cut back on rent for up to a year, you’ll save more than 4 months of your income.

Take on Available Jobs

You may feel overqualified for some jobs. Even if you do, take the job for as long as you have no other source of income. It would be self-defeating to feel that you are too good for a job and then go without necessities.

Instead, try to view any job as an asset. Jobs that most people consider dirty can prove to be valuable assets.

Review Your Debt and Credit Record

Take a good look at your credit report. See if there are debts that will fall off your credit record. Also, see if there are debts you can consider not paying.

In the case of debts you think you may not need to pay, exercise caution. Not paying off your debts can have serious legal indications. So, check for any legal ramifications before making such decisions.

Spend Less than You Make

It is wise to spend less than what you earn. Why? Because when you do, you leave yourself room to care for emergencies. It’s also possible to save up for later.

Living below your means relieves the pressure of living from hand to mouth and the shock of caring for emergencies.

Don’t Spend Money you’ve Earned Before you Receive it

It can be tempting to think that the money is already yours anyway. But there lies a trap. You’ll likely find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck. 

Additionally, in case of a delay in payment, you will be stressed out because you are already in debt. This may result in penalties because of resulting delays on your part.

Avoid Looking for Satisfaction in More Money

More money doesn’t fix financial issues. In fact, having more money can create a bigger problem if you are already dealing with budgeting issues.

Any good budget coach will tell you that more money won’t make you happier. Instead, having control over your finances brings peace of mind a sense of satisfaction.

Start Paying Off Your Debts

Pay off as much of your debt as you can. It’s not wise to hold on to money while in debt. The purpose of money is to let it work for you.

Paying off debts eases pressure. Dealing with debt collectors isn’t fun. Once you pay off your debts you get the freedom to plan your life without distractions.

Strategize and Prioritize Debts

Now that you’ve decided to pay off what you owe, you need a strategy. Start by paying off the lowest debts.

If you happen to have any unexpected income such as from the sale of unnecessary items as explained below, use that extra cash to pay off your small debts.

Dispose of Items that need more money to maintain

If you have any items you know are above your means, sell them. Make sure you sell each item for its worth.

This will not only earn you money, but it will also save you the extra money you keep spending on maintenance.

Renew Your Wealth

Strive to have at least 2 sources of income if not more. You can start a home-based business. There are unending small business ideas you can try. Try turning your hobbies into a business.

IRS Income Shifting

What if you can pay less tax than what you are paying now? Learn how to move your money to less taxed jurisdictions. Just make sure you do everything legally.

If you can, learn the tax code and see when you can pay less and gain more money in tax refunds.

As with any worthwhile undertaking, persistence and consistency are key. Try as best as you can to follow these simple steps. Make it your goal to eventually have enough savings to cover your living expenses for 2 to 3 years. Get a budget coach if you need to. If you do, you will experience peace of mind and financial freedom that you can only dream of right now.

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