The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic has exhausted your financial situation in the scariest way possible. And, being caught off your guard financially has negatively impacted other life aspects, such as your health, basic needs and lifestyle. A new year is, therefore, an ideal opportunity to get a mental head start on your finances.
This should be an intentional thought process that you set forth to work through everything that happened and went wrong during your previous year. It is not easy examining that which turned your world upside down, financially. But it is crucial. When giving your finances a ‘mental head start’ you don’t have to do anything other than to reassess your thoughts and show thoughtfulness and kindness in the process. Remember, you are not the only one facing tough times – everyone else is fighting a hard, new battle alongside you. So, if you want to action or do anything – rather be considerate towards yourself and others.
“Dealing with the financial and additional consequences of a horrendous torment/event is one thing, but giving yourself a mental head start on your finances before doing anything crazy, is the hope-given and crucial thought-process that you just have to make room for,” says Carla Oberholzer (debt adviser at DebtSafe).
Take a look around you, various financial challenges you and others have been confronted with, are:
- UNEMPLOYMENT. During the third quarter of 2020 the highest unemployment rate (30,8%) was recorded since the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) started back in 2008.
- FOOD PRICE HIKES. Prices of key staples rose dramatically and especially affected everyday consumers like yourself and those most vulnerable.
- CREDIT APPLICATION REFUSALS & BAD CREDIT RATINGS/SCORES. According to the National Credit Regulator, there has been a spike in consumers with impaired credit records as well as rejection rates on credit applications granted.
- And, INCREASED COSTS (such as fuel hikes during the lockdown period and January 2021, for example) have been passed on to further erode you and other cash-strapped consumers.
Statistics like these can highlight the doom and gloom of your financial reality, no doubt. But, that is why getting a mental head start on your finances is so important to your new 2021 year. So, where do you start?
Firstly, TAKE A STEP BACK and take a deep breath or a moment to centre yourself, your thoughts. Remember, you have to already see this mental head start preparation as the beginning of your future financial repairing process. But, for now you have to ‘do’ nothing other than to mentally comprehend and coming to terms with where you are at financially. It may take a day, it may take a few days or a few weeks. Take all the time you need to think ‘thoughtfully’ about what has happened in 2020 and try to process it.
You can also PREPARE YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY. In other words, remind yourself that you are going to have to take on a financial restoration journey (note: at a later stage,) ONLY when you have the capacity for it and are ready to do so.
And, a final ‘food for thought’: take a look in the mirror and tell yourself that YOU ARE RESILIENT and that THERE IS STILL HOPE for your financials (even if it feels as if all the cards have been stacked against you).
Your post-pandemic’s financial battle is not over yet, BUT you can convince yourself that your resilience or tolerance towards it IS stronger. Take on a new form of hope and go through a thorough ‘thought-process’ to give yourself a mental head start on your finances this 2021. It can have a positive, domino effect on your relationships, health, needs and lifestyle. Make use of these above pointers to kickstart your New Year and intentionally, prepare the wee bit that you can for now. And please, if you want to start DOING (or actioning) anything, just continue to be kind.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Maclaren (1897)