The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent tough economic situation have led to an unprecedented challenge in how we manage our finances. Many countries are experiencing increased prices of essential commodities and decreased purchasing power of money – and no one is immune to this economic hardship.
In fact, high inflation rates will affect more people than ever before as economies around the world become more intertwined. We’ve seen this before: The Great Depression and World War II are two examples of severe economic downturns that resulted in many people suffering and dying from starvation.
Fortunately for us today, those days are long gone and many things have changed since then — but there’s still much we can learn from history about how to survive when times are tough. So here are ways you can build up your resilience and thrive when inflation is threatening to crumble your budget:
Supplement Your Income
There are plenty of ways to make extra cash without quitting your job entirely. They include:
Taking Online Surveys
If you’re looking for a quick way to supplement your income and make some extra cash, there are plenty of websites that will pay you a few bucks every time you complete online surveys. The problem is that most sites expect you to complete long surveys to earn peanuts. You also need to be wary of fraudsters masquerading as survey sites. To be safe:
- Make sure the website is reputable; look at their rating on Trustpilot or Yelp! If it’s bad, then avoid it.
Invest in the Stock Market
Before investing, it’s important to consider your goals and know what kind of investment strategy will work best for you. If you’re looking for a steady stream of income, then investing in stocks may not be right for you. In that case, consider options like bonds, peer-to-peer lending, or even real estate.
However, if your goal is to build wealth over time while minimizing risk, then investing in the stock market might be the best option. With this type of investment plan, two main factors determine how much money you can make: how long an investor waits before selling their shares, and which companies’ stocks you buy into.
Become a Freelancer
Freelancing is the best way to earn extra money, and it can be a great way to build your network. If you’re looking for something specific, the opportunities are endless — from article writing, essay writing, graphic design, transcription, writing ads for local businesses and charities, creating marketing campaigns, to researching trends, editing documents, and much more!
Start Your Own Business
One of the best ways to supplement your income is by starting your own business. You can do this in a variety of different ways, but if you have a strong passion for something and want to make money doing it, the better.
The first step is identifying a business idea that would work best for you. Are you passionate about animals? Do you love working with children? Perhaps there’s an area that interests you but hasn’t been filled yet, and therefore could be profitable. Think about how much time and money you’ll require to get started on this endeavor, then figure out the profits you’re likely to make every month.
Brokerage is also a great business idea. Broking commodities is a very profitable career. There are many entrepreneurs who made it big by just having a gold calculator and a little knowledge of how to trade in the gold market.
Try to Budget
When the economy is doing well, it’s easy to justify spending money on things that are not important. But what happens when it comes crashing down?
Budgeting is essential for anyone who wants to maintain their financial stability during a period of economic uncertainty. It allows you to stay within your means and prioritize what’s most important to you, while also allowing you to spend money on things that matter most.
Save for Unexpected Expenses
It’s important to have money saved up, just in case you face an emergency or other unexpected expenses. An emergency fund can also go a long way to cushion you anytime you’re facing financial challenges and it can help you to get out of debt. There are plenty of ways to save money for this purpose:
- Start a savings account with your employer or work-sponsored 401 (k). If you don’t take part in one already, ask your company if they offer one and set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck into that account each month.
- Set aside some money for unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills (in case something happens when you’re traveling). You can also put aside some cash as an emergency fund — $500, $1,000, or six months’ worth of your expenses should be enough for you — for unexpected expenses that aren’t covered by insurance plans or other sources of income.
Save Money and Cut Expenses Without Sacrificing Enjoyment
Did you know there are many ways to cut expenses and save money without sacrificing your lifestyle? Stop eating out at luxurious restaurants and start cooking at home. There’s no point in spending $3,000 a year – that’s not only wasteful but also bad for your health and waistline. Try cooking more meals from scratch or at least making sure that those meals are mostly vegetarian or vegan.
Another secret is to buy in bulk when possible. It may seem counterintuitive to save money by buying things in bulk rather than buying a little at a time, but there are many reasons this could be beneficial. First, you won’t have to worry about running out of an item, and second, most stores often offer great deals to customers who buy in bulk.
Finally, shop at thrift stores instead of department stores. Thrift shops help you save money by offering amazing deals on quality clothing that would otherwise go into landfills after being worn once or twice. You can also find a range of affordable items in these stores, including small appliances, jewelry, furniture, and so forth.
Upgrade Your Education For Future Earning Power
Investing in your education is one of the best investments you can make. Education will help you get a better job, earn more money and advance your career. The more educated you are, the better equipped you are to thrive during tough economic times because you have a higher earning potential than those who have “smaller” qualifications. Besides, your valuable skills set makes it easier for employers to elevate you to a higher job group or assign you additional roles that attract more pay.
Reach Out and Network
Networking is the most important thing you can do to help yourself and others around you. It’s not what it sounds like, though — networking isn’t just about going out with a group of people and trying to give them your business card. Instead, it means making and nurturing your social capital whenever an opportunity presents itself.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just been employed or you’ve been working for a century; if there are any opportunities that could give you more money, just reach out. This way, you might land lucrative deals that could change your life for good, and you’ll never have to worry about the cost of living.
Take Advantage of Freebies
Businesses occasionally give out free products to boost their brand awareness campaigns and increase sales. Take advantage of such opportunities and enjoy free things you would otherwise pay for on a normal day. Go to free concerts, visit museums and art galleries, or check into a free medical camp.
Downsize Your Housing Costs
If you live in a large home and cannot maintain it because of financial challenges, sell it and move into a smaller one. You can also consider renting out a room or two in the house to a student or family member who needs somewhere to stay. You could also find a roommate or someone else who’s willing to split rent/utilities costs with you—but ensure they know what their role is going into the arrangement, so there isn’t any confusion later on.
Request for Pay Raise or Find Another Job
Here’s a sad reality for you: that inflation rate grows faster than your salary. But that doesn’t mean you cannot renegotiate your employment terms and let your employer know that inflation is taking a toll on your financial health. Use your recently acquired Master’s degree or skill to support your request.
You could also grab that opportunity to negotiate other costs. For example, requesting to work from your home can be a great way to reduce gasoline and commuting expenses. If they are unwilling to add something to your salary, start hunting for a high-paying job immediately.
Find a Part-Time Job
A part-time job means you work fewer hours than your usual schedule at your current position. If you find yourself with time on your hands in your retirement, consider finding opportunities within local businesses where there is room for growth based on skills learned while working prior to retirement. This can be anything from working as an instructor at community colleges to helping people set appointments.
Create Your Own Abundance Through Attitude
The key to finding happiness and prosperity, even in harsh economic times, is by changing your attitude towards things. You have the power to create abundance through your attitudes and thoughts, so it’s important that you do your best to focus on the positive rather than dwell on what you don’t have.
Be grateful for what you have in life — your salaried job, your friends and family who love you unconditionally are a very important part of this equation. Even if your small is so small that it can’t help you thrive financially, learn to be happy with it; some are yearning to have a job.
We hope you’ve found some inspiration for your own personal financial journey. Remember, it’s okay to be frustrated about the economy and how bad things have gotten. But don’t let that stop you from finding a way forward! If we can all take a step back and focus on what matters most — our family, friends, community, creativity, productivity, and surviving within our means—we can come out of this difficult time stronger than ever.
Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in California. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, All Business, US Chamber, Finance Magnates, Next Avenue, and many more.