Even before the COVID pandemic, many people in the US were anxious about their financial futures. With the pandemic’s effects on the economy, and with so many people having lost their jobs, you may be wondering how savings are different.
There are many ways in which COVID may have had a financial impact on your life. Maybe you or a family member lost a job or were given reduced hours, leading to a pay cut. Maybe you’re a business owner with a store that was forced to close. Maybe you’re an online business with dwindling shoppers due to the state of the economy.
No matter how large your nest egg, you’ll probably get anxious if you aren’t certain how long you’ll be reliant on it. Many people have lived on or dipped into their retirement accounts early so they can keep paying for groceries, rent, and electricity.
Financial planners recommend that people have enough savings on hand to handle up to six months of ongoing emergency. This gives you a cushion if you lose your job or have a health crisis. People who have followed this advice will find themselves well-prepared for COVID.
You can make your savings last longer by making certain changes to your budget. How much are you spending on takeout? Can you lower your grocery bill by cooking from home? Can you cancel subscriptions to online websites for a little while?
Many people have found that the COVID-related lifestyle changes they’ve adopted have made saving easier. If you’re driving less, you don’t have to pay as much for gas or vehicle maintenance. You also aren’t tempted to go out on the town and pay exorbitant amounts of money at a club or bar.
Saving is more difficult when you don’t have a reliable source of income. If you have to live on your existing savings, you might feel like you’re sabotaging your future self. But the money exists to be used in an emergency. It’s important to take care of yourself.
But you should be aware that as you deplete your savings, it will have an effect on your retirement plans. That goes especially for when you can’t replenish the savings or add to the account right away.