With the clock quickly winding down on 2020, many have turned their sights to making plans for 2021, hopeful that next year will be a much better one.
If it’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that nothing is certain and plans can get turned upside down in a split second. So, why plan, you may ask? Well, it’s because having a plan in place goes a long way in buffering a fallout.
No one could have predicted that this Covid-19 pandemic would have upended the world the way it did.
There were massive job losses, people lost their homes, others were evicted from their apartments and people went flat broke. Everyday life was impacted.
A Pew Research Center survey found that one in four adults had trouble paying their bills since the pandemic started, and according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 81 million people lost their jobs in the Asia-Pacific labour markets due to Covid-19.
But, we have to remember that while some people truly suffered in 2020, others’ lives did not change one bit. And I’m not just talking about the wealthy.
Everyday people who had healthy savings, led modest lives, had family support or worked in an industry that was considered essential, carried on their lives business as usual.
Despite a promising vaccine being distributed around the US, we have no idea how long it will take to reach everyone or how effective it will be.
Plan For The Worst
As individuals with some form of income plan for 2021, it’s important they stockpile what they can, no matter how little it is. The job you have today may not exist in a few weeks, and you have to act like it.
The government closed many non-essential businesses in the early months of the pandemic. As a result, many people lost their jobs. At any minute, the government could decide to shut those businesses again.
For the first two quarters of 2021, people should spend only when necessary and cut out the non-essentials. It’s imperative because if you have little money coming in, you shouldn’t have a lot going out.
This past holiday season, many people felt pressured to maintain old lifestyles and habits. They got caught up in the tradition of holiday shopping, buying Christmas trees or travelling and worried about the bill later. That is not a good strategy heading into 2021.
I’m not going to say how someone should save money, that is something each person will have to decide for himself/herself. What’s important is that they save.
Unemployment will be longer and in many cases, permanent. Credit ratings agency, Moody’s has warned that it could take four years for the US to recover from the 22 million job losses due to Covid-19.
So, it’s critical that people be measured with their finances as they approach the new year.
This Bahamian Gyal