Their finances and income levels are rarely on such a solid footing that nothing can shake them. Anything can happen and happen, as is well known. The reason may be an independent factor, such as the now looming Korona crisis. Economic flexibility is also required when resigning or changing/reducing one’s work voluntarily. How, then, can one adapt one’s finances without drifting into a change in a personal financial crisis?
The subject is close to me, because I have personally gone through a big economic adjustment process, of course, of my own will, and along the way, I have written much on the subject. Adaptation has been quite painless for me, but I was also somewhat prepared for change.
Of course, I cannot compare my voluntary situation to the ongoing economic crisis caused by the involuntary corona, the effects of which are hurting many. Of course, they also hit me. However, I am relieved by the flexibility and ability to adapt to an uncertain economic situation that has become acquired after working life. Some kind of vaccination against crises too. In moments like this, I quickly start to think about what other possibility this opens up or what alternative plan I can adopt.
The force with which the Korona epidemic has struck has surprised everyone, and there is little time left to prepare. The surprise that struck me, at least for the time being, crowns more powerfully in my life change was that I wasn’t prepared for the recurrence of the symptoms of exhaustion. Admittedly quite different from before and at the same time chronically supported.
Cognitive challenges, then, hinder me from doing the things I had planned to live daily. This has been a tough one to swallow, but despite that, I have tried to do what I can and keep all the time a positive and hopeful attitude above. The continuation of spending discipline has thus prolonged for me in this situation.
However, when there is some kind of situation that restricts the acquisition of a livelihood, be it in one’s own coping or in the general market and social situation (perhaps both), it is reassuring and important to note how little money can be used if necessary. And it’s good to be confident that you can adjust your finances. Often more than you think.
The fact that one can regulate his monetary affairs in various ways has been a very liberating and stress-reducing factor for me; there is no need to work the same way, perform with the same power, or make money as before. It is possible to put your well-being and resilience, as well as your desire to live a different kind of life, first. You can live more freely when you can decide for yourself what kind of “own job” you are doing, without the pressure of a regular monthly salary of 3000-4000 €.
Mindset and consumption patterns for review
Thus, even smaller and more irregular incomes will succeed when consumption habits and ideas about spending money are changed sufficiently. By my example, I want to remind and swear by the belief that life can be quite good despite low incomes and cost-cutting.
Lately, I have over the years reduced their spending by up to 75% of previous. Not everyone may have the same opportunities to compromise on their consumption as I do and I understand that. However, many have something to check and a filing in their ways of spending. Even if it doesn’t suddenly feel like it.
Thus, layoffs or another drop in income levels, even when decelerating the squirrel wheel voluntarily, are by no means a “dormant place”, although the transition period can be put on strong, depending on the situation. However, the means are largely the same, for whatever reason.
However, I do not want to downplay anyone’s concerns or worries, but I encourage you to take advantage of this current situation to look more closely at your finances. It will certainly be useful even after the crisis has subsided, even if the situation now comes under duress. The capacity to cope with the challenges of the future will certainly be strengthened.
In this post, I discuss various ways to adapt your economy to change. At the level of mindset, habits, and practical money solutions. Maybe you’ll find something you can start applying to your situation.
Moving to more conscious control of one’s finances is in many ways a useful skill, even for those whose finances would hardly suffer in this current situation.
External coercion or own will
The reason why declining disposable income naturally affects how we feel about change. If we are inadvertently laid off, laid off, or have to shut down our company, the motivation to adopt is not the best. At the moment, this is unfortunately the situation of many Finns.
The stagnation or decline of income dictated by coercion harms and paralyzes. Especially if there is no financial buffer, a sense of the threat of personal bankruptcy can prevent, at least for a moment, the making of sensible calculations and seeing the means of survival.
Opposing a situation usually only closes the eyes of solutions, while acceptance takes the path of solutions more quickly. Challenging situations are a great basis for growth for new creative solutions.
If, on the other hand, smuggling the economy and cutting costs is more of a way to move towards a freer life, reduce grueling work, or leave anxious work behind, adaptation is, of course, easier and more meaningful. The feeling of liberation wings towards solutions and shaping the economy is more of an inspiring innovation than a bitter oat.
There is not much to look for in motivation when one’s inner self is filled with the sense of happiness and relief that a vision of a freer life and greater independence brings. Even if it would require a more economically scarce lifestyle. It is ultimately a small price to pay for inner peace and increased satisfaction.
Such a drug of freedom can be difficult to catch when a reduction in money and work is mainly causing despair to survive. The happiness of one is a nightmare to another. However, it is a different matter to plan and prepare for an economic adjustment in all peace, gradually, than to face it unexpectedly and unprepared.
Financial discipline at the time of the corona
If income drops independently, as in the case of the Korona crisis, it is still worth stopping to consider whether this offers an opportunity to take better control of one’s economy and to develop one’s financial skills further.
Could now be the right time to make those calculations of one’s finances from a new starting point, to carefully map out one’s overall economic situation and resources, to close unnecessary money holes, and start budgeting if we have not already done so before?
I realize that for many entrepreneurs, the acute anxiety of this may not make it easier, but in everyday life to cope with all the refinement of financial management, however, Jesus. In these situations, a new, more precise allocation of each euro and the optimization of the value received are important and familiar to me. The sooner you get excited about finding solutions and making your financial survival package, the better.
If something good is sought, then for many in this acute phase, the Korona crisis means not only a reduction in income but also an automatic reduction in spending when movement is restricted and leisure time rushes out during the break. Domestication forces consumption in a more subdued direction, whether it was wanted or not. Of course, for those who are left with free or subsidized meals out of the daily life of the family/household, the food bill may increase somewhat.
Those who, for any other reason, want to refine their finances, get more savings for the Buffer or Freedom Fund, can also take advantage of this exceptional situation.
Now, if there’s ever a good time to cut costs, others won’t go anywhere and live extravagantly. No one even pays attention to the fact that you don’t go to restaurants or spin to shop. Restrained consumption and spending minimization are normal at the moment. No need to explain.
It may be that many in this situation realize what is genuinely necessary and what is not.
Looking at priorities
Prioritization is one of my favorite tools. Where not everything can be obtained or held at the same time (rarely can) prioritization helps to clarify and clarify the situation by prioritizing.
In changes, something has to be given up, something has to be changed temporarily or even permanently. However, when you give up, you always get something to replace, even if you give up a little at the time of giving up. After all, we don’t know exactly what good is going to replace him.
Giving up resistance to change, or at least dealing with it, are the very first things. Especially if the change cannot be influenced but comes more or less from the outside (e.g. layoff) it is worth weighing how much energy to put against bubbling.
The faster you start channeling energy into prioritization and creative solutions the better. The Korona situation has already raised great innovation and solution focus. The possibilities of the Internet to help and share are rampant, and new services and products are emerging.
In your economy, you can translate this so that what is innovative can be done in terms of your monetary affairs and consumption habits. It is worth forgetting to sacrifice immediately and start some new kind of operating culture required by the situation.
What forms of consumption could be put on hold now? What are some imaginative ways to reduce consumption in your household? How to financially take advantage of increased leisure time at home? What can be pruned without the quality of life suffering? What are the things that are important to you to maintain, even if your income drops a lot?
If you already have an “oxygen mask,” that is, the spirit is moving and there is no financial trouble, you might want to think about how you can support those small entrepreneurs and businesses in your consumption that you hope will stay afloat over difficult times. So, if your finances are not strong now, it may be a good idea to continue using the services or make the necessary purchases, even with proactive gift cards. This is also a service to our overall economy.
Budgeting is one good way to implement prioritization. When the weekly food budget is set at even € 50, making sure it is enough forces you to make priorities. The views expressed above cannot be rushed to the trade. You have to be able to think and calculate how to get the necessary groceries for € 50 a week. Perhaps an idea can be realized in it if it rises high enough in its prioritization. However, the use of every euro must be carefully weighed.
Prioritization helps to eliminate all unnecessary or at least not so necessary consumption. Exceptional circumstances can provide an exceptional opportunity to test what happens when certain familiar forms of consumption, various haste, and activities, including Travel, are momentarily left out of the patterns.
How dramatic is this for your satisfaction and maybe other priorities will rise in your place? I wondered, so that even a few months of an annual trip for me is important, not its absence would, however, pose a major problem. And especially not now that I just got to experience my year’s trip dose in the Philippines.
The trips have increased the experience of quality of life and satisfaction, but my satisfaction is not threatened in Finland either. In this situation, in particular, I am grateful to be able to spend life in quarantine at home. The trip will then be considered again as winter approaches if the world situation allows.
The better the adapter and the adjuster, the more likely it is that what previously (or at the onset of the crisis) was considered financial distress after a moment of training will only appear to be a more accurate way of spending money. This is our adaptability, that famous resilience.
One way to prioritize may well be to prioritize keeping current consumption so high that you plan to raise more revenue elsewhere to keep your spending level unchanged.
If, on the other hand, you can afford your finances and your income is not dripping, you should consider how else you will prioritize your spending in this situation. Of course, it is good to be able to support small entrepreneurs and local actors where possible and to target their spending more consciously in that sense as well.
Reflect & Action: View your statement or change your spend tracking. (Or start a cost tracking that lasts at least 4 weeks) Honestly mark which costs are mandatory and which are not.
Make a Top 10 list of your current expenses and prioritize the expenses so that the first types of expenses are the ones you can’t completely exclude, like housing and food (also think about the room for maneuver within these).
Prioritize other, less vital items. Make it clear to yourself what you agreed to in the first place if the money is not enough and what expenses cannot be compromised.
Beliefs under a magnifying glass
We may also have ideas about our economy that we truly believe to be true. On closer inspection, we find that it is more a matter of belief and a strict way, not a fact.
I am certain contexts previously told that to have a regular monthly salary still good, I could still experience that I do not in any way unable to save € 100 a month in funds, but I had to drop saving of between the sum of 50 € and sometimes left out altogether.
Of course, this was not because it was the “truth”, but it was my experience/belief at the time and also reflected my way of prioritizing things.
But could I afford to subscribe to a morning newspaper, buy some more expensive cosmetics, go on a weekend for entertainment or a little trip? -Certainly! We usually have money for what we consider important at any given time, that is, what makes us happy, or what we are used to spending money on. Investing didn’t seem important, as I had planned to always be in paid employment.
I have followed their page and use other people’s money in recent years a more analytical observation and noticed that there are several ways, habits, and beliefs, which prevent the “smartest” use of money or hinder adaptation to change. I am not talking now about conscious prioritization, but more about practices that go beyond conscious action, which can be changed when they first become sufficiently aware and want to make a change.
A belief or fear that one will not succeed financially can completely dull dreams of a life change or resignation, for example in a serious Burn out the situation. First, you have to examine your priorities, Do you feel in your inner self that your health and ability to work have to be sacrificed to maintain a certain standard of living or to stay in the workplace?
When you look more closely at your values, honestly treat all the expenses in your finances through expense tracking, make a new budget, and explore the potential for generating alternative income, you may begin to look different.
People may experience that they cannot survive without regular visits to a steakhouse or nail service. Only a certain face fat is valid and a certain brand of car. You can’t compromise on a weekend treat or miss a pub tour, you have to buy one new pair of shoes every month. Or should I?
Prioritization helps here too. It may be that someone is living on oatmeal alone to continue using the car or buying clothes. The main thing is that the order of priority is itself outlined.
However, we can also be blind to our consumption patterns. Or at least the masters justify the preservation of customs. We want to stick to what we are used to or what makes us happy. And hopefully, you don’t have to give up everything that produces joy and pleasure. However, if all you enjoy is chargeable or even expensive, stop for a moment to think about why this is the case. Some belief structures may need questioning.
Of course, even irrational spending is not a disadvantage as long as there is enough money, but if it is to be possible to adjust spending to scarce income, let alone save for some purpose, challenges can arise.
Gradual reduction is a good starting point. Step-by-step cost-cutting or spending cuts are better suited to many than the most radical, one-on-one solutions. The brain gets used to this kind of tolerance more easily.
Ponder: What kind of money do you spend money on that you don’t need, but which is automation, a habit? What do you not think you can do without? Is that true?
An honest examination of your buying behavior
Thoughts and tendencies that affect our operations, especially in the grocery store, can be, for example, the following list of factors. They may also apply to other shopping situations. The operating model may have already been inherited from the home of childhood, and these partly subconscious habits may prevent us from adapting to changed economic realities.
Self-examination is always useful based on change, external conditions cannot be controlled, but one can shape one’s thoughts and ways of working.
Do you identify yourself (or any member of your household) with any of these?
- You can’t choose the cheapest product because it gives a signal of deprivation (not represented by your self-image)
- You cannot choose a red tag product because it is a shame
- You always choose certain brands regardless of price because you are used to using them (familiarity and safety, learned model, identity)
- You buy the most expensive products because your self-image and ideals have taken shape as such (you are quality conscious and you can afford it)
- You always use a particular product or way of shopping because you learned it as a child
- You “can’t” look at or evaluate prices, i.e. interpret what value for money is in any product (“there has never been a need”)
- Is an opinion or feeling overcoming the solution of economic smart (impulsivity, pleasure -direction)
- You always buy when there is a good offer, whether you need a product or not
- You buy and make choices thinking: “what does this look like in someone else’s eyes”, when you are alone you make different choices than when you are in the company of others (seeking social acceptance)
- You buy according to your values of middle and organic products, health, and domesticity above, even if it would make your economy frost
As such, many of these policies are by no means dangerous, but they can prevent optimal economic management in times of change if they cannot be called into question. Change always starts with questioning.
It’s also good to remember those different ways of spending money bring joy, but to different people for slightly different reasons. Where some experience saving to painfully torment and give up all nice things, others rejoice and enjoy making good discoveries and deals. Saving bonsai and making a small splash is inspiring when you know it’s heading towards something of your own goal.
Falling income levels and changes in consumption behavior are associated with a wide range of conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings. What do others think now when I switch from Stockmann to Tokmanni and Lidl? Or when you can’t go out for evenings or even lunch dates as before?
The situation can raise feelings of shame and embarrassment. Attempts may be made to keep the backstage upright until the last, and this may in some cases lead to vibes and harmful indebtedness.
Once again, the decisive factor is whether the situation is the result of one’s own will or external circumstances. And how important consumption, branded products, or showing wealth have been to one’s identity. For some, it means nothing, for others, it is a very important part of identity. Giving up such a part of the self-image can be painful and repulsive unless motivated to do so within a person.
It would be good to be able to reshape one’s own identity in a new situation and to experience the pride instead of shame that, for example, a 50% drop in income will eventually be enough to power well when unnecessary consumption is put on hold, at least for the time being.
However, the development of a new, more conscious consumer identity may take some time. Revenue drops are often faster. Fortunately, one can consciously work with one’s own consumer identity and explore what perceptions of one’s self-consumption habits are tied to.
For many, the transition to a more minimalist lifestyle and consumption is not only a way to free up money, but also a way to get more mental and physical space into their own lives and daily lives. After a moment of experimentation, a simpler lifestyle can start to feel meaningful and meaningful and help to form a new consumer identity. Ecological values can also play a more important role.
There is no need for any extreme changes, but it is good to start thinking about your buying behavior and self-image about it. Could a positive self-image and identity be built in the future with increasingly conscious economic actions and prudent consumption?
Skillful management and adjustment of one’s finances is a skill and ability, and not a matter of shame.
Anyone manages to waste money or spend on expensive products when money is available. Being able to make enough money in changing situations, on the other hand, requires a little not only adaptation but also the skills to manage one’s finances. Accurate and cost-effective spending/spending is your area of expertise that you can develop and be proud of.
Tailor solutions to suit your situation
However, the situation is different for each of us, which is why financial flexibility and the best ways to adapt also vary. Someone is always easier to adapt than someone else. That’s right.
The fastest way to adjust to your economy is to reduce costs and consumption, but you may as well be on the path to additional roads. Acquiring new income is possible even in exceptional circumstances, although it is certainly difficult. Income can be earned through either extra work or trying. It depends on your situation and resources whether this is the right course of action for you.
In the new situation, all new types of creative solutions are needed. Is it possible to try something new now or a new way of working now? For example, like a gig or seasonal. Sticking to one’s “own field” or training received does not increase the seeing of alternatives, but easily justifies a mentality of sacrifice.
Or can the current job or know-how make a product or a redesigned service, can an entrepreneur transform an existing business into new types of implementations, peripherals, ancillary products, etc? Now it’s worth asking and questioning.
Time and place-independent digital entrepreneurship, offering online courses and services online, blogging or e-commerce are not only in line with the spirit of this time, but are now very much a topical opportunity for additional income, albeit with little delay.
Just because you can’t do your job online doesn’t mean you can’t do anything online. The threshold is, of course, bigger to begin with, and financial relief doesn’t come very quickly. However, the adaptation of the future can be facilitated by such measures, especially if there is now an opportunity to start something new for the use of time.
Not all savings tips work for everyone, just as not all earning tips apply. For some, the path to savings is generally easier than earning extra income, for others the other way around. I thought so, that when the costs have been driven down sufficiently can take a leisurely look, and build them new sources of revenue.
Everyone needs to think about ways to adapt and reduce costs from their point of view and from knowing their finances. Therefore, the best adaptation plan is always individual.
The sooner you get excited about finding solutions and making your financial survival package, the better.
Concrete ways to adjust your economy
- Budgeting, ie financial planning for use at the latest now, especially for food costs and the decision to stay on budget (fewer trades with a shopping list)
- If you are now buying larger quantities of food from a store, prepare the food in the frozen place, chop the tender fruits and vegetables into small easy-to-use batches in the frost -> this way you will avoid food/money loss
- Simple cooking with a few simple ingredients, use your recipe (aka common sense)
- Think about what other “do it yourself and save” ways you can use, repair, sew, craft, do things, renovate, take care of beauty and health (especially if time is more than money, you can return to services later)
- If you need any clothes/items to buy, look at online flea markets first
- Non-essential services and subscriptions for a break
- Tend, for example, electricity contracts, telephone, and internet subscriptions
- Car out of traffic/insurance whenever not for a few days driving
- + Many hobbies, cultural delights, restaurant and bar life will soon take a break anyway, which will help the consumer’s economy to adapt
My top 7 most important ways to reduce my expenses have been:
- Food costs – planning, price comparisons (value for money), budgeting, loss avoidance
- I buy about 50% of clothes and goods recycled and only for need, I also constantly sell something out
- Services trimmed to a minimum, only genuinely necessary for use
- Quitting entertainment and alcohol use (as part of another life change)
- Stop pleasurable shopping and eating (as part of another life change)
- Spending part of the year abroad -> easier to stay on a tighter budget and still be able to get some services and eat in restaurants
- State of will – when there is a will, there are ways
Temporary flexibility for payments:
- You can apply for installment leave for a mortgage at most banks at no extra cost
- Additional payment periods can also be applied for the payment of other loans
- Review of tax rates and withholding taxes
- Sell unnecessary clothes and goods with online flea markets, especially those where the products are sent or where mailing can be used
- What other property can you sell?
- Can you rent something you own?
- Additional work on gig work platforms, through rental work companies and substitute registers in your municipality (there are restrictions in exceptional circumstances as well)
- Doing business online? My site/blog? E-commerce for physical or digital products?
- Providing freelance services or searching for gigs on ready-made platforms (Upwork, Fiverr, Geniuses, Freelanceri.info, Freelancer.com, virtual assistant sites…) or Facebook groups specializing in job services/entrepreneurship
- Temporary benefits, would you apply for housing benefit or should the level of support be reviewed?
- Other temporary subsidies and relief related to the Korona crisis, such as entrepreneurial unemployment insurance
- + Now there is a lot of free or discounted training available online, study if you can, and take advantage of what you learn to make money!
Investments as a tool for flexibility?
In adapting to the changed economic situation, I have been helped in recent years by the advanced arrangements I have made, such as savings and investments. Also the planned realization of the property along the way. I have benefited from dividends, interest, and investment loans, installment-free.
I have been using savings, but also tried to save them back. I’ve sold shares and funds and then later bought back. Of course, while trying to avoid losses, but primarily I have had this financial flexibility as a tool.
Funds or stocks that have fallen as a result of the current crisis should not be sold now unless forced or unless the sale appears otherwise worthwhile. I would make additions little by little. However, if you get some capital income (on which you have to pay taxes), selling unprofitable investments when there is a genuine need is not necessarily a crisis. You have to relate the means to your overall situation.
There are times when it’s not worth keeping your nail tooth on investment. I think that investment should be seen as a tool, not an end in itself, to be cherished at the pinnacle of the world. The more tools or instruments you have to gain room for your finances, the better. Sometimes the realization of investments brings that room for maneuver.
It is a good idea to promote these own contingency arrangements and to increase the buffer fund whenever the finances are fair and to use the savings/investments when necessary, but always on a time basis. It is, therefore, worthwhile to acquire the buffer fund also in a bank that pays a slightly higher interest rate, not just for investments.
Note that all the things we now have to learn; new ways of working, working online, creative thinking, reduced consumption are the skills that also contribute to building a freer lifestyle! Now, these skills will inevitably be learned for many. I hope, however, that the silver edge of the trials will brighten by the future.