Now we are almost a year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can really measure the financial impact that it had on people and households. According to a research survey conducted by Pew Research, 44% of Americans think it will take them three years or more to get back to the financial situation that they were before the pandemic.
Covid-19 and Online Scams
Whilst many people were trying to save money and prioritise healthcare, criminals used the Covid-19 pandemic to target victims online. Some scams that became all too common during the pandemic were impersonation scams, romance fraud and investment scams.
During the pandemic, criminals sent fraudulent emails claiming to offer government support to those impacted by the pandemic and scam text messages requesting payments to book a Covid-19 vaccine. They also impersonated delivery companies to exploit the rise in online shopping.
There was a 32 per cent increase in investment scam cases last year, which are often promoted through adverts on search engines offering higher than average returns, and a 38 per cent increase in cases of romance scams, driven by the rise in online dating during the pandemic.
How to Budget as the Pandemic Calms
The pandemic taught us many lessons, including that we could all be a little more intentional with our cash. Building a budget with purpose will better prepare us for whatever crisis comes next—and might keep us from overspending now that our routines are semi-normal.
Get Creative when Staying in
Staying in is probably the last thing any of us want to do right now after months of being confined to our homes.
Realistically, though, seeing friends and family every night at a restaurant or bar is just not a smart way to manage money.
Spend Time, Not Money
Overall, the pandemic has taught us the immense value of being able to spend time with loved ones in person. After separation for so long, even just a brief meet up can satisfy our social needs—and keep us from spending money we might not have.
This tip can prove especially important for those who might be struggling to regain their financial footing post-pandemic.
We just survived the traumatic experience of a global pandemic. Many of us faced stressors that we didn’t even know existed, like not being able to share a meal with loved ones or be together for holidays.
That’s why it’s important to live a little first before going full tilt with a budget! You just have to do it strategically.
Debt Management and Covid-19
Despite the need to save money during the pandemic, the continued importance of paying down your debt balances consistently and paying them on time every month should never be discounted.
COVID-19 will not end society as we know it (though has changed some of the ways we interact), but if you stop making payments to your creditors, you could put yourself into a financial hole that will take years or even decades to dig out of.