Lockdown

How to Manage Your Money When Going through a Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is far from over in the U.S., but already, it has left millions struggling as they lost their jobs due to repeated lockdowns. When times are rough, it is difficult to think straight and to add to our worries by trying to change our spending habits, on top of everything. But it’s important to adapt so you can survive through the crisis, so here are financial movements you should do or shouldn’t.

Entertainment in the COVID-19 Days

Source:scotsman.com

Who would have thought entertainment could be so important in our lives? Of course, we all like to go out, watch a movie, catch a play or head to a restaurant and go dancing afterwards. But if you were told that you weren’t going out on a given night, you wouldn’t have felt like you were missing out. However, the lockdown has created something new inside each of us, which has become as crucial to our survival as much as the money coming in: Being entertained.

When you can go outside your house, you rapidly lose track of what life is. Without working hours to be kept, the days rapidly mix one within the other. Entertainment becomes a way to either forget the confinement and refresh your head or for couples and family, a moment to share which brings normality to an uneasy situation. That is why Netflix was probably the most important company during the crisis, with millions of viewers around the world, evading to other worlds.

But you also need your time alone with entertainment and nothing is as helpful as music to soothe your soul. That is why Tidal, a music streaming app, was one of the most used during the lockdown as well. With over 60 million tracks and 250,000 videos, it provided a way out to be enjoyed alone or even with the other members of the family for an evening of dancing. Thanks to couponbox.com, you can obtain a reduction on the cost of the membership at Tidal but also on many different items like restaurants, a night at the hotel and clothes. That way, when you feel the urgent need to order out or do a little shopping, you can still save some money while doing so. Which brings us back to: How can you save money during these difficult times?

Defining what is necessary and what isn’t

Source:ft.com

This is probably the most difficult question you will face during this crisis. Why? Because needs can differ greatly from one person to another. That is, of course, until you need to reduce your spending to the bear minimum. Let’s hope this whole situation will resolve itself before any of us gets to that point.

However, there is no doubt that some habits will have to be changed for everyone facing difficult times on the horizon, after having been laid off temporarily or permanently for others. The problem is that we don’t know when companies will start hiring again, so it is better to save as much as we can in the meantime.

When defining what is necessary for you, make a list of all the extras you pay during a week (don’t write down monthly bills like electricity, loan or rent and other utility bill. Gas for the car, which would normally be one of the necessary spendings, may not be right now, if you don’t have to go to work. Once you have made the list, which should include things like cinema, restaurants, Netflix, golf, a day at the spa, etc., then you will have to start looking into what you are ok to live without.

Reduce Costs, Including Bills Whenever Possible

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There are things you should permit yourself to do in crisis which you should never do otherwise. One of them is lower your payment on your credit card. It is essential for a healthy lifestyle to be able to pay your credit card balance in full every month. If you don’t, that clearly means you are spending too much and there will come a time where you won’t be able to get out of this debt. But in a period of crisis, that is one of the bills you can cut by simply paying the minimum amount. However, be aware that you are doing so and that this situation is only temporary, or else you will find yourself in trouble. Then, go through your budget and try to find other bills on which you can temporarily pay less or simply stop for the duration of the crisis.

Reduce Your Savings Input

The best-balanced families usually have an amount of money they consider as savings for each pay check that comes in. That helps you build an emergency fund for times… just like the ones you are currently living. Don’t try to be mightier than you can be about savings. Of course you won’t be able to add to your savings (since you won’t be receiving pay checks anymore) but don’t stop yourself from using that money, because you believe it is not meant to be spent. It is exactly what it is meant to do: protect you in times of difficulties. Of course, manage it wisely so that you don’t find yourself spending it all. The fact that you have it doesn’t mean that you can continue your normal life as if you were employed.

Lower Your Pride and Get help from your Community When it Is Offered

Source:business2community.com

Community help is not always for other people then you. Hardship can happen to anyone, and you should not let your pride get in the way of accepting the help which is so graciously offered. Not all communities have this chance, so if you are part of one that provides it, accept it. To learn about the help which exists around you, call 2-1-1 or go to 211.org. The services they offer can be quite varied, from food banks, to meals for students and seniors and even psychological health for those who are suffering mentally from the pressure they are being put through.

There is also some relief that is being brought by the Federal government such as the postponement of federal student loan payments as well as coronavirus-specific unemployment programs. If you don’t take the time to learn about them, you may be spending money you shouldn’t have to or are not receiving some to which you are entitled.

Find a high savings rate

Now, is the perfect time for you to be proactive in looking for a better saving rate. It is easy to open a high-yield saving account today, in an online bank, which can get you more than the 0.06% average currently being given out (on average). Some even go above 1%. This is the simplest way you will find to earn more money from the one you already have and do so in a matter of minutes.

Conclusion

No matter what you do, keep a tab on how much money you are taking out of your saving accounts. The last thing you want is to find yourself having to rebuild it all once the crisis is gone. Yes, it is there to protect you and to enable you to survive such a crisis, but the more remains on your bank account and the easiest it will be to rebuild it when you go back to work.

The COVID-19 Lockdown has Shown the Difference we Could Make to the Planet

COVID-19 and the lockdown have been difficult for most people, but there is a positive effect in the middle of all the turmoil, the influence on the planet’s ecosystem. This difficult time has taught us a lot about emissions and the environment.

We all need to work together

For many people, annual Earth day is often full of good intentions which never seem to last long. They can quickly become despondent when their efforts fail to produce results, or when few seem to share their enthusiasm in protecting the planet. Activists such as Louise Gund, who is also a successful Broadway producer, can be quite vocal and makes many valid points which many will agree with. However, before COVID-19, it seemed impossible for a comparatively small number of activists to make a significant difference. While businesses and government agencies were starting to take the threat to the environment more seriously, it was something which relied on everyone to work together. This seemed an unlikely reality, until many countries around the world went into lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the process, they reduced the pollution and greenhouse emissions.

Source:cordmagazine.com

Many people can work from home

Professions such as retail, construction and food production can never be done from home. Although, many sectors which previously claimed that staff needed to be in the office all or most of the time, found new ways to clear their workload as staff worked from home. This has played a big part in reducing the volume of traffic on the roads, resulting in lower emissions. Assuming things go back to a reasonable level of normality, home-working has been proven to work for a large number of people. It poses questions about whether this method of work could be continued, to keep down emissions and protect the environment, now that we have been shown it can work. Of course, there may be times when workers need to be physically present, but we’ve learned it’s not as often as we thought. The positive effect on the environment could also inspire people to look at other ways of saving energy.

People will find other ways to keep in touch, from a distance

Source:nbcnews.com

With the temporary closure of social venues such as restaurants and bars, people found other ways to keep in touch. Some who lived within walking distance of each other, left the car at home and took advantage of their allowed exercise to walk to family and friends’ houses, even if it’s just to drop off essential supplies to their doorstep, then to stand back and catch a brief glimpse of them. While others had to make do with social media, video calls or the telephone, the impact on the environment was less than traveling to a venue to meet up in person. Clearly, the businesses being shut also meant less of an impact on the environment. It’s not a long-term solution for those businesses and for the livelihoods of their employees but may at least make people reconsider whether they can walk somewhere in future, as opposed to driving there or taking a bus.

We don’t need to use all those shops

With many shops deemed non-essential and having to shut during the pandemic, it has shown that we can make do without them, at least for a short time. Again, they employ people and are important, but in the near future, people may rethink how frequently they shop there. As well as the environmental implications of buying more clothes, furniture and other items from these shops. We as customers could ask ourselves if we really need to purchase them as often as we do. People like to save money, and if they’ve gone longer than usual without buying them, it could lead to cutting down. That means fewer emissions from the production and transportation of goods. The lack of takeaways (as delicious as some of them are) has led to more baking and home cooking being done.

We can shop locally

Having discovered that we can shop less, we’ve also learned we can shop locally, With many consumers reluctant to travel too far, the local shops have provided a safer way of getting essentials. Small shops which may have been overlooked before, in favor of supermarkets, have shown us that local outlets can provide what we need. While many shoppers who were classified as vulnerable, will have been reluctant to queue outside larger stores, local shops have provided a safer alternative. When “non-essential” shops re-open, we could continue that trend and keep emissions low by shopping closer to home, resulting in less travel or a shorter drive if need be. If others follow suit by shopping locally, this can have minimal impact on sales – with everyone shopping in their local area, and a higher reduction in emissions.

Source:channelsight.com

We don’t need to travel so much

Having discovered we don’t need to travel as much has shown positive results for the environment, and what can be achieved when we all (unintentionally) work together to reduce the damage to the planet. Holidays abroad are less essential compared to the privilege of being able to see our loved ones closer to home. For some, the lockdown has been an opportunity to discover new places closer to home, previously they would have driven a beauty spot a greater distance away.

We’ve proven (without trying) that we can make a positive impact on the environment. When lockdown is over, we can put into action some of the things we may have been forced to do, to stay local, work from home and focus on what matters to make the world a better place to live. This may mean that emissions will rise slightly, but if we consciously work together to minimize the impact on the environment, we can keep the rise to a minimum.

It may have taken a pandemic, but one positive thing to take away from this is that we’ve been given an insight that it is possible to preserve the planet for future generations.

Learning and Career Tips for People in Lockdown

Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus, millions of people across the globe are now stuck in their homes. With a lot of industries shuttered, millions of jobs lost, and uncertainty on when life will revert to normal, you might be wondering, “What should I do with my life?”

You may choose to watch the news on repeat, anxious about the future, or choose to scroll through social media feeds where you only are confronted with coronavirus-related posts and memes. But, there are many other useful things you can do, like sharpening your skills so that you’re more employable during the uncertain times that’ll follow the coronavirus lockdown.

Fortunately, there are tons of useful resources that are just a few clicks away – from online schools and universities to workshops and webinars – you can focus on learning skills that’ll bolster your career. Besides, there are plenty of platforms where you can connect with tutors who’ll help you with your homework. Check out Homework Market if you are looking for homework help.

Here are the 7 learning and career tips you should keep in mind:

1. Chart Your Career Path

Source:thebalancecareers.com

Where do you hope to be or what career goals do you want to attain in 5 years? Start from your projected outcome and work backward. This way, you can know the steps you need to take to attain your goals.

2. Take Online Courses

With a future that seems utterly unpredictable, this is perhaps the perfect time to revive your career by learning completely new skills that’ll boost employability and shield you from future uncertainty. Start with the skills that are most relevant to your career goals. While the pandemic has been devastating, in the future you may not have as much free time as you have now, so learn all you during this period.

Other learning resources like webinars can also help you acquire new skills; all you need is a phone or laptop and internet connection. Webinars are typically led by thought leaders so they offer you an opportunity to interact directly with an expert.

3. Create Predefined Templates for Your Work

This lockdown period may be the apt time to create templates, presentation material, and checklists for your work. You’ve likely had those moments when you’re so swamped with work that you wish you had predefined templates for your regular tasks – now is a wonderful time to craft them.

There are common procedures we follow in our daily tasks, why don’t you create a toolkit that will automate or speed up the process and boost your productivity? Once we return to normalcy, we’ll have to take on work that’s accumulated for months or strive to rebuild shattered businesses, so your productivity-boosting toolkit will come in handy.

4. Structure Your Working Day

Source:in2english.net

Whether you’re homeschooling or working from home, you need to create structure and schedule your activities. Have a dedicated work desk, preset your working hours, and schedule your kid’s activities. Kids, like adults, thrive in a structured environment.

5. Get Networking

Source:networkworld.com

Many industries have been permanently disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. So this is the time to prepare for a changing job market. Whether it’s making re-introductions, researching your prospective employers, or reaching out to old contacts, this is the right time to widen your network.

Since people are not outdoors, they are spending a lot of time on social media sites. LinkedIn is a great place to start connecting with employers and educators.

6. Work on Research Projects

Pick a subject matter that you’re passionate about, research it and then publish your findings in an appropriate platform. When you immerse yourself on a given subject, you’re likely to make new and profound connections that you may have missed before.

Learning and putting out your findings is not only fulfilling but it also helps you stand out in the job market. Employers go for employees who’re agile, emotionally intelligent, and creative. By cultivating your brand, you’ll be way ahead of the pack.

7. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Source:willingness.com.mt

Eat well, stay in touch with your family and friends, and work out regularly. There are a lot of free exercise programs available online – such as strength training, cardio, and yoga. Celebrities and influencers are regularly posting home workout videos. Most of these are follow-along exercise videos so you can work out with your favorite celebrities from the comfort of your home.

It’s also easy to get worked up about the lockdown and isolation. There is also no denying the mental toll of being cooped up inside your home for extended periods. It’s important to understand that the life you are craving for is not the same. For instance, even if you break the rules and go to a movie, all the movie theaters are closed. The world outside is just as boring because most entertainment venues are shut as well.  With that realization, learn to enjoy and embrace the comforts of the indoors, at least till this passes. Binge-watching a Sitcom is a great way to kill time and to keep the mood elevated. Watch guided meditation videos to calm yourself when you are overly stressed out.

Why You Need to Sharpen Your Career Skills

Source:dailyexcelsior.com

This lockdown period is the perfect time to learn new skills and update your resume. The Coronavirus pandemic has upended some industries, wiped out millions of jobs, and destroyed many businesses. But, the skills you’ll learn at home during this period can help you gain mastery in what you do – you can emerge from lockdown as a better professional!

Once normal life resumes, you can use your newly acquired skills to get a raise or a promotion. You can also use your new skills to change course and start a new career. So be proactive and make the best out of this testy period for personal development and career.

Sam Smith Believes He Had COVID-19

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Sam Smith, a highly popular songwriter/singer, has received high awards and praises for his songs since the beginning of his career. After the outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK, he gave an interview where he said that he believes that he was positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, he explained why he has this opinion. This is the newest story of a celebrity being faced with consequences inflicted by this dangerous virus. We already had the stories about Pink and Idris Elba who were in quarantine.

Source:pinknews.co.uk

Sam Smith’s career started back in 2012, and he continues to impress people all over the world with his music ever since. He revealed that he started practicing self-quarantine several weeks before the outbreak was official in the UK. He thinks he got infected while he was in the United Kingdom. He didn’t get tested for this disease, but he is pretty sure that he was positive. He added that he read all there is to know about this disease and that it matched all of the symptoms he had. Also, it is interesting to know that his sister who lives with him started getting the same symptoms a couple of days later.

Smith pointed out that he managed to beat this condition before the whole country came under a lockdown. He started practicing self-quarantine three weeks before the official lockdown, and he beat the coronavirus just when the complete country was in an official quarantine. Also, he said that he has his grandmother living with him and that he didn’t want to risk anything bad happening to her, so he started with his own measure before the state started its own. Sam Smith was in quarantine for three weeks because it was the recommendation gave by the doctors.

Source:officialcharts.com

Just to remind you, Sam Smith won an Oscar for his song appearing in “Spectre”, a James Bond movie released back in 2015. As we said, his career really started to pick up after he featured on “Latch”, a Disclosure’s single that ended up on the eleventh place on the UK singles chart. Some of his best-known songs are “Money on My Mind”, “Stay with Me”, and “Lonely Hour”. This is the newest story we have a celebrity their coronavirus quarantine and state. Recently, Pink stated that she and her son were tested for the coronavirus and that they are in quarantine.

What Are People Experimenting with in Their Kitchens During the Lockdown?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown some positive sides throughout the whole chaos, as many people have been taking the opportunity to explore what they can do with their newfound free time. Some have been brushing up on their skills, others are learning new things, and some are just taking the chance to catch up on a backlog of media. And for others, the kitchen is the main place of interest during these tough times. So what’s everyone doing, and what options do you have that you might want to consider?

Source:dietdoctor.com

Back to the Roots

In the current situation, there’s hardly a better time to give a chance to a more classic diet that brings you back to your roots, instead of continuing to stuff yourself full of processed foods on a regular basis. Surprisingly, many people are ignoring the fruits and veggies sections at stores, focusing primarily on disinfectants and toilet paper. So go crazy and try to integrate this type of food into your life as much as you can!

Nothing can top that feeling on making certain dishes just like your mom or grandma used to. Believe us, as soon as you take a bit, you will be immediately transported to the most precious time of your life –childhood. What’s more, provide your kids with the opportunity to enjoy the same meals or desserts that you did years ago.

Try Something Complicated

And if you’re the avid cook type, you might want to take the chance to try something new and complicated that you never thought would be in your scope. Even something like General Tso’s Chicken doesn’t have to be too complicated if you break it down into simple steps. There is no shortage of guides about these complex recipes out there – and more – so you should definitely see what you can whip up! There are lots of cooking communities online that can be very friendly to newcomers, so you should look around to see if you can join one.

Making Permanent Changes to Your Regime

This is also a good chance to think about making some more lasting changes to your current situation. There’s a lot that the average person can generally do to make themselves eat healthier and control their habits better. And it’s a good idea to start thinking about this right now. It can take some time to build up the right kinds of habits, and you should give yourself plenty of free room for failing comfortably. This is a good opportunity to make some permanent changes in your kitchen, and you should not let it go to waste. If you’re having trouble, remember that the internet is full of useful information on the subject. It might seem complicated at first, but as long as you’re persistent, this will have a very positive effect on your life in the long run.

Cook with your family

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Many people would say that the only good thing about the quarantine is that is has forced people to slow down and spend more time doing things they enjoy with their families. We cannot really argue with that. Not only do you not have numerous work-related tasks that you need to complete every day, but your kids are out of school which means that you have a lot of time on your hand. So why not spend it doing something both fun and practical.

Do you have a favorite dish? Why not make it together with your kids? What is their favorite dessert that they don’t get to have too often? Have fun in the kitchen preparing it and then enjoy it together while watching your favorite family movie.

This is a perfect time for making new family memories. In 5 or 10 years the children won’t remember this pandemic, but instead, they are going to cherish memories of making their favorite cake or cookies and having a blast with their parents.

Maybe cooking is your new hobby

Source:bestlifeonline.com

Surely you know that a lot of people out there find cooking relaxing. Many moms would say that they love it because not only is it the only time they can enjoy some peace and quiet but also because they have to opportunity to experiment or even create something completely new.

Yes, we have already mentioned that part about experimenting in the kitchen when it comes to preparing some complex meals, but why wouldn’t you try to make something of your own? Yes, we know, for many of us cooking seems like an impossible task, but when you actually think about it, if one was to try and use just a little bit of creativity, they can actually create something delicious.

You can read online to learn some basic rules about mixing different flavors, and you are ready to start. Start at the beginning and combine ingredients. The reality is that you can never know if you are on the right path until you finish the meal and taste it. Plus, some would even tell you that one can never go wrong. Who knows, maybe when this quarantine passes, you will become a top chef and starting cooking interesting meals every day. Put on your favorite playlist, unwind and forget about current events for at least an hour.

Source:ihirechefs.com

And in case you need inspiration

Bemorepanda has a lot of useful videos about what type of food to cook. You can also add your own video and share your experience with the rest of the community.

In the end, remember that this is temporary. And while many people are waiting for the situation to pass, others are doing interesting things with their lives. There’s a lot you can do there, especially on the culinary front. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste as we said above! It will take a while until you’re fully adjusted to those changes, but once you’re there, you’ll never want to look back in the future at all.