Financial Stress Solutions for COVID-19
Counting your Coins Already
Financial Stress and our Mental Capacity
The series of events that has plagued the world with Covid -19, has not only taken its toll on the government and the people but it has also affected relationships and finances.
Many have seen themselves without a salary, without provisions for circumstances such as this and the self employed who were just hanging on, are probably going to have to forfeit their business.
The lockdown has taken its toll on people both physically and it has been mentally challenging with the unprecedented events rip roaring through our financial security.
Without knowing how to navigate through the challenges of the events, both financially and emotionally, stress could build up and resilience could be arduous.
The general public have felt anxious and nervous about the future, the unknown dangers and the toll it will take on families who are already struggling.
Financial strain is a complicated situation in these times as they are unavoidable and almost as if we already know that over the hill is a black hole ready to swallow us whole!
The stress from having to deal with the fears of a war against and invisible enemy, is already enough to send blood pressure through the roof and we need to know how to manage our stress.
The first step to gaining some resilience and becoming mentally strong is to tackle through the finances and future plans carefully, looking for ways to release the stress and take the weight off of ones shoulders.
By removing some of our debt and knowing that there is a plan for a way forward, will help ease the burden and prevent your mental health from deteriorating, because, after all, this will be over and we will have to begin again.
Face Your Financial Fears
The main fears financially have many branches and for most of us, the fear of being helpless and suddenly destitute is an enormous strain.
A loss of income or a salary cut is devastating, especially when you have not planned for it, with savings or insurances.
Wage loss takes away the control which gives us the freedom to provide basic needs for our families and it takes away our need to provide;
A home to live in to give us security
Food to provide our children with the nutrition that they require
Futures for our kids in the form of education and medical attention
Urgent expenses and needs are frightening and the fear of not knowing how to categorise what is urgent and essential, which debts could be held off and which ones have to be paid, is of grave concern and it causes major stress for those who are uncertain of what to do next.
Income ceasing to exist for an unknown timeline whilst debts continue to stream through the accounts, unsure of what will happen once the money is gone.
The fear of the Unknown financial future is an immanent threat as we are unsure of how long the lockdown and virus war will last, when we will return to work and how we will survive if it is for longer than we can manage.
We are also afraid of the possibility of having no work to return to and the fear of having to find a new job, could be a frightening and almost impossible challenge for some.
Facing our financial fears makes it a real situation that we can now see in black and white and try to plan a future for the "what if" scenario.
Passive Income Freedom
This is a great read that you can purchase from Amazon. It gives you a few tips on how to build up a small amount of income. I think if you are a business minded person than you might get more out of it than that but it gives an idea to those who would try their luck in being entrepreneurs.
Fight Away Your Financial Burdens
Strategies for Financial Relief
This is not time to stick your head in the sand and wait for the war to be over. We need to face the reality that this is a war and that we are all going to take a financial knockout whether we choose to or not.
It is not a complete knockout, we can sort through our financial status and prepare ourselves for a time of recession and empty bank accounts in the red.
The first step is to see just how much money you do have in the bank.
Once you have checked the finances and resources then you need to worry about three important things;
- A roof over your head
- Food on the table
Before you panic and hyperventilate just take a deep breath and think through.
Obviously if you do not have a salary coming in, you will not be able to pay a bond or mortgage.
Naturally, you will have to apply for a payment holiday or use your credit life insurance.
If your credit cards and overdraft facilities are maxed out, then you need to source some form of income, to buy food for your family.
You also need to think of the possibility that one of your family members might contract the virus and need medical attention; would you be comfortable with them going into isolation in a government facility or could you get backup for them to be taken care of privately.
The main focus is to cut down on non essential expenses and you need to be pragmatic, this is the time to hustle and barter as your family depend on it.
The most important thing that you have to do is make a list of your debts and get all of the account numbers together.
Call the institution that you have your debts with and make an arrangement to either receive a payment holiday in which case you will still be liable for interest accrued and the terms would be extended, costing you more in the long run or you could use your credit life insurance, which will ease the financial burden for at least six months.
You will need proof of loss of income and you can only use this facility if you have been up to date with your payments.
Bond, credit card and loans are all able to receive Covid -19 payment holidays.
If you have a car or any other debts, then you need to call the branch and inform them of your loss of income, again ask for a payment holiday or a chance to restructure your payments from May onwards.
Most of the institutions are really helpful as they know that people have no income at this time, you do not need to be embarrassed and it is something that you need to do right away.
If you do have money then now would be a good time to speak to your financial advisor on how to invest or use your insurances to benefit you.
Once you have established what your debts are then you need to call and you cannot take no for an answer, there is no other alternative and you need to inform the lenders of this fact.
Reach Out for Assistance
Swallow your pride and just get on with it, you need to get it done and you need to do it now.
Putting food on the table without an income is going to be a challenge and it will cause even more stress if you cannot come up with anything.
The first thing that you have to do is look on the government websites for the financial aid.
If you have been employed then you would have been paying UIF, which you can now claim for.
Single parents can also receive government grants per child which, if used extremely carefully, will put food on the table.
Small business owners who are vat registered will be able to get some funding and aid through the government websites. They need proof of loss of income from an accountant or bank statements.
Do not be afraid to use up any form of free money that is being given out to help as you have earned the right to it and you need it now.
Do not rely on this because it will not last for too long, it is just there to fill the gap for you until you can get yourself back on your feet.
If you have not learned to beg, then this is a good time to do it and you have to take what you can.
Home owners must try not to sell their homes now but just take a payment break because long term your home might be your only asset to work with.
Find Ways to Make Money
It is rather difficult to work and find work if there is a lockdown but in order for you to get liquid cash, you need to derive at a plan.
You might not be entrepreneur of the year and probably have no idea how to think of something to do but all it takes is a little planning and networking.
People around the world are in the exact same position as you are right now and they are all afraid of the unknown, the loss of income, the possibility of being left destitute.
All you need to remember is that there is always a way out.
If you have managed to cut your debt repayments and all you are really left with is money for food, then you need to make it last and you need to plan for the aftermath, the financial devastation that might not see the return to work.
Look online for opportunities, communicate with other people in your field and look for odd jobs that you could do now, if you have no source of income.
Take a look at what is needed now and look for lenders that are willing to fund your idea for a fee.
Sell your old clothes, get rid of things in your home; extra televisions, old gaming devices and you will figure out a way to get food for your family.
Face Your Fear
What is your worst fear about lockdown?
Acceptance is Key
Financial strain and the loss of income is a huge burden for anyone to go through, especially when it comes at you like a speeding train.
This global pandemic is upsetting enough without having to worry about finance and the first step to a healthier you is to accept that you will suffer loss and by acknowledging that there is in fact no contingency plan, will allow you to move forward and work through these obstacles quickly.
Financial concerns can have a significant impact on your mental health which is something that you just simply cannot afford to neglect right now.
There will be increased irritability, anxiety, nervousness, mood swings with high's and lows along with muscle tension and sleepless nights.
The steps you need to take are clear;
Eliminate the heavy burden of debts by asking for relief and payment holidays
This will already make you feel a little lighter as the worry of how to pay your car, home and other debts will be eliminated for a temporary pause.
Accept that this is a war, it is beyond your control and work on what you can control.
Your body and your mind are important, the captain of the ship needs to be calm for the younger ones to feel secure.
Get some exercise and meditate quietly if you can just to relax enough so that you can focus on a future plan.
Keep healthy, eat right and avoid watching the news all the time.
Network with other people online and brainstorm some plans for a future that is going to be inevitably different.
Don't worry continuously about the debts and overheads because this situation is beyond your control and you can only do what is best for your family. If this means that your debts are going to bounce or your bank account is going to be empty then the only thing that you really have to worry about right now, is your family and security.
Everything else is about building yourself back up once again, it will be a challenge but it can happen, it has to happen and there will be a way forward.
The future might be a little bleak right now but acceptance is key.