10 Tips To Survive A Crisis
This one goes out to each and everyone of us.
A crisis affects us all, albeit to varying degrees. We can all be victims of unexpected circumstances. Unfortunately, a crisis can also bring with it, an accumulation of “suffering”: a tsunami of financial hardship, stress, furlough, wage decrease, maybe job loss, forced reduced spending, savings strategies put on hold, tightening of belts.
Let’s just say, Uncertainty in general.
However, I’m sure you must agree, that we can all do at least one or two checks on our life, batten down the hatches, rein in the unnecessary costs and just generally ensure we are not “exposed” any more than we should be, so that we can sail through the tempest and sit it out and wait for the clear skies ahead of which I am convinced.
By doing the above, we can also strive to make our life less fragile and more “robust” than it was with hindsight. Better still, you can also take stock of the situation and start putting into place a strategy that could make you even more than just robust.
I would highly recommend you read “Antifragile” by Nassim Nicholas TALEB.
What I’m saying is: in the future, don’t just wait for a crisis before you react. If you’ve been overly affected, then make a promise to yourself that next time you’ll be more prepared. Let’s all agree here and now, that there WILL be several NEXT TIMES in our lifetimes. It’s part of our Western “Boom and Bust” economy to which we have become so accustomed.
Here are my 10 tips to be applied in ALL SITUATIONS.
Disclaimer: this is NOT financial advice. This is simply something I apply to my own life. Feel free to find inspiration from these tips or to simply ignore these tips.
- Do NOT live beyond your means
Most of us are guilty of this – I know I have been guilty in the past. However, I have made a concerted effort to change my ways.
Know what your outgoings are. Know what your income is. Know exactly what your debts are.
Make a Budget! You should have a clear idea what your financial obligations are and the date on which each obligation must be met. If not, write it down and stick it on the wall to remind you. Some are monthly, 3-monthly, yearly payments.
Know what is superficial in your life. Do you really need Spotify, Deezer, Netflix, Sky, Newspaper “A”, Magazine “B” Subscriptions, ? A family subscription might be more cost-effective than several individual subscriptions. Cancelling your subscription(s) might also be the most reasonable way to go.
Check out your bank statements. You’d be amazed at how many standing orders you may have. Think of those small amounts being drained from your account. They all add up. Check out my blog post on “Spring Cleaning in my Personal Finances”.
- Upskill NOW
We live in a world where there is more and more pressure to have a relevant skillset. Know what your skills are worth in your current work environment. It could be your skillset is well sought after. That may not be the case. Open your eyes and keep those ears pricked up to see what the trends are. What kind of profiles is your current employer/client looking for at the moment? Do you have such a skillset? Check out the company intranet for Job Offers just to keep your finger on the pulse.
If you are looking for a complete change in your life, then you will need to research that. I’d like to draw your attention to my blog post on “Overcome Your Fear Of Change”.
This is always the most difficult phase: What to do? What to look for? I don’t even know where to start! If you don’t have a particular skillset, how do you go about acquiring it? You may want to ask yourself what are your passions/past-times/hobbies in life. They could provide you with ideas of what you see yourself doing in the near future.
Do you want to continue being an employee? Are you ready to take a leap of faith and become an entrepreneur? In certain cases, it is more than possible to keep your day job and take on a side-hustle that could be part-time or indeed take up a more significant portion of your working life or at least your earnings. Have you thought about acquiring skills in Affiliate Marketing?
- Safety Net Fund A:
They always say you are 1 month away from losing your job and 3 months away from losing your house, whether rented or owned. If you want to feel reassured, then you need AT LEAST 3 months’ worth of savings that you MUST NOT hack into under any circumstances.
It might be impossible to find such funds all at once, but you’ve got to admit that you have to start somewhere. That meal you planned on having at the restaurant this weekend? How about saving the money and going out for a brisk walk with your partner? The regular boozing/wining you do with mates or work colleagues? How about having a couple of glasses less and putting the spare cash in the piggy bank?
That Gym subscription you barely use: drop it and get walking/running/be active.
Building up this fund is an absolute priority as far as I’m concerned. Give yourself an attainable timeline to achieve this.
This fund will make all the difference and give you time to adapt and turn things around in the event you lose your job or in the event you are ready to make a significant change in your life.
4. Safety Net Fund B:
It’s essential to have at least 1-2 weeks’ worth of cash to cover your food/essential purchases. You may not be living in the Weimar Republic of 1923 or in Zimbabwe of today with hyperinflation. However, a run on the banks is something that we have seen even in 2007-2008. This is in no way alarmist, just common sense. How would a “True Bank Holiday” affect you? No cash for say 3-4 days, maybe a week?
It may not be a problem for you, in which case, just ignore this.
5. Put off unnecessary purchases:
Ask yourself this question: Is this object indispensable in my life? Let’s face it, that car you desire so much, is not likely to go away if you put off the purchase for another 6 months or 1 year. Now is NOT the time to waste your hard-earned money in the current situation. You would do better to use that money to constitute your Safety Net fund A and B
6. Don’t take on any unnecessary additional debt.
Don’t mistake your desires for your needs. Be honest with yourself. Do you really need that new kitchen or bathroom? You might want to consolidate your debts. Whatever the case, I would try to contact my creditors to determine what flexibility there is for any repayments I might be having difficulties with.
Create menus for the week for yourself, for your family. Buy only the food required for these menus.
Make enough food for the evening meal and (a) meal(s) to take to work the following day.
Share the journey to work with a friend, a neighbour, a colleague. This is a great way to reduce fuel costs. You have to admit that the number of cars on the road with only the driver in the vehicle is quite astounding.
9. On Yer Bike
or your electric scooter if you must. A great way to fit in a bit of exercise into your daily routine to and from work. Check out my blog post “Fit Exercise Into Your Daily Routine“.
A great way to reduce costs is to do your own DIY around the home. I understand it takes time, energy and skills. Certain tasks are within reach of most people’s abilities. Don’t take on mammoth tasks that you won’t be able to finish. Be sensible and start and finish one job at a time. If you are decorating, then do one room at a time. Avoid buying tools. Ask a neighbour. Offer your tools to them and maybe they’ll return the favour.
Get on the local forums. Tool sharing and Favour-swapping do exist in many areas.
Did I say 10 tips? Here’s number 11.
11. Offer your services for payment:
Rent out your vehicle, tools or your muscle, your parking space, your cellar.
I would love to hear back from you. Don’t hesitate to leave your comments and I’ll try to answer them as soon as I can.
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