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The coronavirus pandemic has caused lots of issues for a large number of people, and it’s clear at this point that this is going to continue for a while. About half a year later, the world has managed to largely adapt to the situation, but many are still struggling. Finances are an especially delicate subject, as the global economy has been disrupted to a great extent. It’s not just about businesses either — many individuals still don’t know what they should be doing in order to get back on their feet and regain some of their financial stability.

Here are some tips to make the most of your finances during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Be Realistic

The first step to getting your finances in order is to ensure that you have a realistic perspective on the situation. Many people fall for the trap of seeing themselves in a more comfortable situation than they are actually in, and this can have a damaging effect on their long-term ability to get things back on track. Whatever kind of planning you do, make sure that it’s actually aligned with the way your life is moving right now.

Optimize your expenses on any front you can think of — think about revising your car insurance, starting a savings account, or talking to lenders for pending credit lines.

2. Explore Your Options

Despite the difficult global situation, the market still offers plenty of opportunities for earning money and spending your time wisely. Investing is something that many people like to daydream about, but few actually take the leap to enter the field. It’s not as daunting as it looks, and even though it requires a lot of research and patience, the payoff can be great in the long run.

The option of starting your own work from home business, like online tutoring, freelancer content writing or web developing can also be very attractive, although you need to be careful to align your idea with the current situation.

3. Maintain a Safety Net

And in any case, if you decide to explore new horizons, always make sure that you have something to fall back on. Entering the market without any savings is generally a disastrous move, and even more so in the current situation where the whole world has been destabilized. If you don’t have any savings, this might seem like an even greater motivation to get out of your comfort zone and explore new ideas, but don’t be tempted. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where things are even worse than before, do you?

4. Develop a Long-Term Plan

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, you should take the appropriate steps to ensure that you are making lasting changes. A lot can happen down the road that you can’t account for — the current pandemic being perhaps a perfect example of that — but there are still factors that you can count on. Do your best to develop a solution that can work in the long run with minimal possible interference from external factors, and try to keep that plan as flexible as possible. Rigid plans are typically the ones to fail first in critical situations.

5. Don’t Invest in Passing Trends

A lot of things are going to change in the near future, and it’s impossible to predict them all. It’s very important to watch out for trends that look like they aren’t going to last very long, because those are the exact things that you don’t want to invest into. It can be hard to tell when something falls in this category, especially in a situation like the current one, which is why you should apply some critical thinking to what’s going on and ensure that you don’t fall for any obvious traps. Remember that some things will look much more different than they are, as some companies are doing their best to hide the full extent of their situations at the moment.

This makes it even more important to be suspicious of everything you see and hear, and focus on stable investments that have proven to be worthwhile in the past. For example, investing in face masks can work out well in the short term, but it’s definitely not a viable long-term solution — the pandemic is going to end at some point, after all. If you think you can pull something off on short notice and get good profits out of it though, by all means give it a try.

6. How to Bring Your Finances Back on Track

If your finances are in complete shambles and you’re not even at the point where you can think of starting any investments, you will need to take a step back and revise your situation before continuing. Save up a little money, try to cut down on your expenses and figure out if there are ways to adjust your lifestyle to be less wasteful. You might even find that some of these changes are things that you want to stick with in the long run, because it can certainly feel great to realize that you don’t need to spend that much money on a regular basis.

7. Make Sure Those Changes Last

Similar to the advice I gave you above about long-term planning, you should try to ensure that any changes you’re making will become permanent. Or at least that they will last a long enough time. Some of your ideas may fail — and that’s fine, as long as you have backup options planned and have a way to get out of that situation. It might take some extra effort to make those changes stick, but it’s definitely going to be worth it in the long run. Especially once you find out how this impacts your life as a whole!

Don’t let the pandemic get you down, and make sure that you’re always exploring all your options for improving your financial situation from every angle. There is a lot that you can do to keep your situation stable, and you shouldn’t despair. Keep your head up, and discuss any problems you might have with other people in similar situations. You’ll quickly find that you’re far from alone in this and that you have lots of options for getting help for many of the things that bother you, too.