The last 3 months have not been the most enjoyable for most of us. Social distancing, self-isolation, job loss, or even illness or loss of a loved one. However, it’s important to see the silver lining in the middle of all this. This forced break in the rat race has given us a chance as a society to focus on what’s important to us, and how we can each get ahead financially.
Although we are a personal finance blog, some of the points below may not be directly about finance. There is more to getting ahead financially than earning more. If you earn $200k/year but spend it all… well, good luck getting ahead.
The tips below, although good at any point in your life, can have a heightened effect during the present times. If you find yourself with excess amounts of free time it is easy to let your mind wander. The following are good points to consider and a couple of tasks to keep you productive.
Before getting into the rest of the article, if you enjoy our weekly content and want to support us, consider becoming a Patreon. By becoming a Patreon you receive; direct access to us through direct messaging, you get to voice your opinion on the topics we cover, early access to all our content, and additional content exclusive to Patreon. Following, liking, and sharing this post is another great way to let us know our insights are valued.
Reflect on You and Where You’re At
No matter where you are in life, reflection is always helpful. Past experiences are there to be learned from. Maybe you find yourself still in school, freshly entered into the workforce, well established in your career, or maybe nearing retirement.
None of that really matters. What matters is looking at where you were, where you are now, and how you’re going to use what you have learned to get you to where you want to go.
Here are some questions you can ponder:
- Are you currently content with your career and state of life?
- What were your goals 5, 10, or 20 years ago? Have you achieved them? Why or why not?
- What are your 1, 3, and 5-year goals moving forward?
A large part of feeling motivated for a lot of people is having a goal to work towards. For instance, if you have a tripped planned for 6 months from now, work (and life in general) will have an element of focus because you have something to look forward to.
Start by setting small, obtainable goals. The more clearly you can define them the better. Also, make sure to have a timeline for them. Without a timeline, a goal just becomes a wish. By breaking bigger goals into smaller goals or checkpoints, you mitigate the risk of getting overwhelmed and letting them fall by the wayside.
Learn a New Skill
With a lot of people having more free time on their hands, it is an excellent time to learn a new skill. There are several benefits to this; occupy your time, broaden your skill sets, potential future earning benefits, etc.
Learning a new skill is also a great way to increase job security. The best way to make sure you keep a job is to make yourself essential to the business’s success. If you currently love your job, learn a new skill related to that field. By increasing your skill set you can bring in more business for your company. This may mean more monetary compensation for you!
Furthermore, if you are having feelings of discontentment related to your job, learning a new skill may help. The new skill may develop into a passion and show you what you want to do in life. It may also be a great way to start a career transition. There is no guarantee that your old job will still be there when the economy reopens. So by broadening your skillset, you are all increasing the number of jobs you are a good candidate for.
How Are You Currently Doing Financially?
If you have been reading our content for a while, you know we are big supporters of budgeting. For most people, in most situations, budgeting is invaluable.
Use some of your extra free-time to review your whole financial situation. We are now 6 months into the year, are you on pace with the goals you set? Do you need to re-evaluate and modify? Has your income and expenses been higher or lower than you anticipated?
Maybe you are one of the people that didn’t take our advice about making goals and developing good financial habits. Two things that we would like to say; one, shame on you! Two, it’s not too late. Use this time to develop a plan and create good financial habits. Your future self will thank you.
If you need help or don’t know where to start check out the following:
There are many other helpful pieces of content on our blog, but also feel free to reach out to us.
Don’t Spend if you Don’t have to
You may be one of the many people that have recently found yourself without work. As much as that sucks, it may help you to develop better financial habits. We say this because you can’t spend what you don’t have. Or rather, you shouldn’t spend what you don’t have.
When there is a tough economic time like we are in now, cash is king. Not only does it allow you to continue to cover your monthly expenses, but it will allow you other opportunities as well.
When the economy is in a recession, it is a great time to look for sales. No not sales on electronics or at the grocery store, although those are good as well. Rather, sales on assets. Items and objects that have declined in price that you either need or can use as an investment (homes, businesses, stocks, bonds, etc).
The stock market went down more than 35% earlier this year, a good buying opportunity. Real estate is starting to hit rough waters. We could definitely see home prices start to decline.
By limiting your discretionary spending, you can increase your cash reserve and hopefully your future purchasing power. When assets start to sell at huge discounts, those with large cash reserves can scoop them up for pennies on the dollar.
This might be really tough since there is a large temptation to purchase and consume things that will fill your free time. Try your best to resist. Then, when a good buying opportunity arises, you’ll have cash available to take advantage of it.
We know this isn’t an exhaustive list and that there are other beneficial things you can do. Let us know in the comments below, what are some ways you believe can help people get ahead financially?
We are also on social media now, click the social icons in the top right corner and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Share your thoughts with us!
If you enjoy the forbeswealthblog content please like, comment, and share it with your friends. Also, click the follow button on the right side to follow our blog for great original content every week.
Disclaimer: This Forbes Wealth Blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice of any kind. Please consult your legal, accounting, tax, investment, banking, and life insurance professionals to get precise advice relating to your particular situation before acting upon any strategy