If you’ve known me long enough, you know that I’m so passionate about kyn (know your numbers). Tracking your cash flow (income vs spending) is the first step to growing your wealth. And unless your cash flow is positive, you can’t have financial freedom (yes, even investing and spending money on fun things needs surplus cash).
Though the COVID 19 situation is not the best, there are so many good things that can come out of it. I am a glass half-full kind of a girl, so I tend to see the positive in everything.
If you are reading this and still employed, take a moment to give gratitude for your good fortune.
So, why do I think now is the right time to reinvent your finances?
Since March 2020, the whole world has been in lock down. Even though it sucks, your spending habits must have changed? If you frequented pubs with your friends, that’s a cost that has gone down. If you liked to window shop and ended up buying stuff, that cost is now gone too (or maybe you shop online now but not as much). If you had takeaway most nights of the week and also for lunch, that’s also gone now (ka-boom). You’re not traveling to and from work, that’s more savings (but this cost may reappear in the future if you have to travel again).
My question to you – Is this not the best time to reinvent your finances?
Of course it is! Since you can never go back to the ‘old’ normal, it is up to each one of you to re-write your new normal.
What’s the best way to do this?
Here’s a simple exercise to do.
Step 1: Open the living expense tracker.
Step 2: Input values for each item under the categories (groceries, transport, personal and recreational) – only for the columns ‘pre-COVID’ and ‘during COVID’.
Step 3: This is the most important step. Consider which of the expenses that have gone down are likely to stay that way. Input this under the post-COVID column.
Let’s say you have cut down an expense – lunch takeaways. Ask yourself, if it’s possible to continue this habit when you go back to your office.
It all comes down to your emotions and goals. If eating home made lunches made your body feel good, then it is more likely that you may take on this new habit. A lot of folks are experimenting with cooking at home, with their children or by themselves – from baking to trying out new cuisines.
Personally, what I’ve enjoyed the most so far is learning to cook with yeast – bread, bread rolls, naan bread, cinnamon rolls. It feels like a big achievement! I now know how easy it is to make my own focaccia! Will I continue this in the future? If I can be honest with you, ‘yes I will’. Why? Because I found a no knead, easy recipe. One that takes very little time and lets me choose what goes into it – from the amount of salt to oil or any other nasties (like preservatives or unknown ingredients). My grocery spending might have gone up a little, but eating out has definitely gone down because we are experimenting more at home.
Ask yourself, what is the one thing that you can adopt as a post-COVID habit that will help improve your finance? You don’t even have to totally cut it out from your budget, but remember small changes make a big difference in the long run.
I truly believe now is the time for you to question your habits and make choices to take on better, empowering financial habits.
Take this beautiful opportunity to create a better financial future.
I’d love to hear from you if this resonates with you.