10 Ways To Increase Financial Happiness During A Crisis
By Finnian Kelly
Are your money worries more prevalent thanks to this coronavirus pandemic? If so, you can choose to make your fears a positive thing. ‘Normal’ everyday life will hide the cracks in your finances. When your regular, reliable income funds your lifestyle and pays your bills, it’s easy to stick with the status quo. You secretly know you could be doing more, but there’s no urgency to take action. That’s why plenty of millennials aren’t already maximising their age advantage to the full.
But thanks to coronavirus, you have an opportunity to take positive actions and come out of this situation financially happy rather than financially fearful.
So if you want to:
- Create more peace, purpose, and power with your money.
- Accelerate your wealth-creation while strengthening your financial peace of mind
- Come out of this situation financially happy rather than financially fearful
Here are TEN practical and positive actions to get stuck into today.
1. Review your Get Out Of Jail Account [GOOJ]
In an ideal world, you’d have up to six months worth of expenses carefully saved for unpredictable moments like this.
But this isn’t an ideal world—instead, time to make the most of what you’ve already got.
Your Get Out Of Jail account is there to provide bulletproof peace of mind. Money doesn’t solve everything, but when you have funds to cope with a sticky spot, money becomes one less thing to cause worry. In turn, you free up creative and problem-solving skills to figure out what next.
If you don’t have a GOOJ, now is the time to open one.
First up, ringfence this money. You can’t dip into this account for any other reason than a real emergency.
Next, review your current financial situation to see where your money is. Figure out what savings you could move to your GOOJ to get the ball rolling.
At this point, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have six months’ worth of expenses – or even a single month. At least you’ve made a start. Plus, you’ll be grateful for every single dollar should you need emergency cash. And if you don’t need to dip into this account, awesome! At least you’ll have the security of knowing it’s there – just in case.
2. Detox your spending
Now’s the time to review your spending in detail. Look through your bank statements and get crystal clear on where every dollar goes.
Aim to detox your spending. Now IS the time to be frugal.
Review all your subscriptions, memberships, bills – the lot. If an expense isn’t necessary and it doesn’t align with your values, eliminate it. Next, add any ‘savings’ to your GOOJ and top that emergency fund up.
You can also add to your GOOJ balance by calculating any savings coronavirus has unlocked.
For example, how many dollars are you saving a week because you no longer commute and you’re staying at home? Remember every dollar counts!
3. Review your insurances
Now is an incredible time to check over your insurances. No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but now is an excellent time to use fear to be pragmatic. Ask yourself:
- Have you got sufficient cover for what you need?
- Do you have enough life cover, income protection, and illness cover?
- Is your will up-to-date with the correct beneficiaries?
None of these checks feels comfortable for millennials, but once you’re water-tight, you can put a big tick under this task and move on.
And if you want a free check on your situation, we can discuss this during your Financial Happiness Call.
4. Look at your leave balance
Remember, your leave balance is potential income too. [A lot of people forget about this one.]
If you’re owed a decent amount of holiday, you can factor this into your contingency planning. Your leave balance may prove particularly useful if you need to take some time off work.
5. Clean up your credit cards
Now is a terrible time to use a credit card. In fact, I’d say it’s irresponsible. None of us knows how long this situation is going to last, so don’t buy things on credit that you can’t afford. Poor use of credit cards at this point can take years to pay back – especially if you get hit with high-interest payments further down the line.
If you do have to use a credit card, be intentional:
- Only buy what’s essential. Remember, this IS the time to be frugal.
- Cut up old cards that you no longer use to remove temptation!
- Transfer and consolidate credit cards to simplify payments – you could even benefit from introductory rates.
Intentional spending is more important than ever. Your future self will thank you for every unnecessary dollar you DON’T spend today.
6. Negotiate better rates
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, now is an incredible time to negotiate rates on everything from your mortgage to any personal loans. Smart action [and a few phone calls or emails now] could put more dollars in your pockets instead of the banks.
This applies to any cash savings you have as well.
Take some time to check out what’s currently available to ensure you’re benefitting from the best possible rates.
7. Set up an investment account
When it comes to investing, millennials have an advantage that’s not available to any other demographic – our age.
Money doesn’t grow linearly. It grows exponentially because of the compounding effect. Therefore the earlier you start investing, the more wealth you have the potential to create over the long-term.
A massive percentage of millennials are missing out on this simple wealth-creation strategy – for lots of reasons. Everything from a lack of time to a lack of knowledge puts this core wealth-creation tool on the back-burner.
Use this time to get this strategy working for you.
You don’t have to start investing now if you don’t want to.
But at least set up an investment account. The paperwork is a barrier for lots of people, remove that barrier today to make it easy to start when you’re ready.
8. Consider investing in this bear market
Some people are going to make a LOT of money out of the current market downturn. There are plenty of opportunities to buy high-quality stocks at discount prices. That’s why, for us millennials, the markets currently provides the opportunity of a lifetime.
Make the right long-term decisions now, and you could kick-start your wealth creation on a scale that would not be possible during ‘normal’ situations.
If this is something you’re interested in exploring, chat with us.
9. Measure net wealth
We use money as a symbol of success – as well as a means to exchange goods, services, and essentials – and it’s a very dangerous game…
Right now, lots of people will have lost a lot of wealth [on paper at least]. If you assess your self-worth on the size of your net worth, your confidence is going to take a battering right now!
Now, more than ever, it’s vital to measure success on the size of your net wealth – not just your net worth. Your net wealth includes everything from your health, to your relationships, personal growth, and spiritual connection – as well as your finances.
Measure your net wealth, and if your relationships are deepening and your health is improving, you can still feel successful as a person – even if you’ve lost money. It’s the secret to a happier, freer, more abundant life.
10. Design a new life
Money is the thread that flows through everything, but for many millennials, money fuels fear and scarcity, not freedom and abundance.
It’s why we can find ourselves in a rat race – doing things that aren’t aligned with our values; jeopardising everything from our life force to our relationships to our health.
If the coronavirus crisis has highlighted areas of your life where you don’t feel satisfied, now’s your chance.
You don’t have to put up with this feeling anymore. Instead, use this opportunity to create a life aligned with your purpose, your values, and your intentions. You are your biggest asset, so use this opportunity to explore that side hustle you’ve wanted to launch forever. Learn a new skill, start reading through that pile of books next to your bed. Watch those videos and listen to those podcasts.
We can see how broken so many of the structures we’ve relied upon actually are.
The world will need people like you when we come out the other side to help rebuild things. You can be one of those people when you take the time to prepare yourself.
The worst thing you can do right now is to let fear leave you paralysed.
No one has all the answers. No one knows how this is all going to work out.
But at least you can keep your life moving forward.
Commit to positive and practical steps, and you can come out of this crisis financially happy rather than financially fearful. You could even set yourself up for a fuller life.
Disclaimer: All information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.