Hello everyone, guess who is back with a post on finances after 800 years? Me! As with the rest of the world, this time has been difficult. Coupled with ongoing life changing decisions (which I will let you know of in the coming weeks), writing really took the back seat. Having said that though, I hope you are well as one can be during these times and you are adjusting to live with what is and accepting things for what they are (and are vaccinated if you are eligible!).
Among the things that have been placed on the back burner, my personal finance and (unfortunately) skincare have been two areas that have suffered. The latter is not really my area of expertise though I am a wannabe nerd on these things, however, let’s talk about how my money is (not) doing. Thanks to weekly reminders I still do manage to stick to regular monthly budget, ensure payments happen on time etc however, for the most part, my finances aren’t really in order. But yes, things are difficult, it’s a struggle to keep track what’s happening in the world, fight off anti-vaxx Colombo kids let alone document what has been happening in your finances.
So what has happened?
Let’s get the easy part out of the way. I haven’t been spending more than I should and the budget is still in order. A quick mention though with the recent increase in items, these budgets need to be altered it seems. However, what is suffering are my tracking sheets. So how I do it is, prior to transferring things to an excel, – because opening up Google Sheets after buying a pack of eclairs from Tasty is still a bit daunting – is that I either collect receipts, go through my bank statement or use my temporary “Expense Transfer Sheet” on my notes that I use to keep track of what I spend in the event / in the event of no bills. I then consolidate all off the information and add it to my finance tracker, usually once a week.
However, since we hardly step out of our own gates now, sometimes keeping track of those online purchases or from the vendors who go passing your house, doesn’t always happen. I did beat myself up about this for the longest time, but now I’ve realised that it’s okay. It is fine. Perhaps I am reiterating these lines so I could pacify myself, I am not really sure. Perhaps those who are better at personal finance will probably say otherwise and maybe that’s true. But this is for those of us who are well, still learning, struggling and getting by.
So what can you do?
If you resonate, here are a few steps that I follow during this time.
- Look at what’s most important and prioritise. For me, this is the budget. Budgets for the longest time now have been non-negotiable to me.
- Now that we know what’s non-negotiable, what can be negotiable during this time? For me, it’s tracking my finances in an organised manner. So as long as I am able to make my payments on time, save what I have to and allocate the rest into their respective spending categories, I am okay. We haven’t suffered from this not happening yet, but if it does, I would assume that an intervention would be in order.
- Give yourself a break. Listen, you are living through a pandemic. It’s not an excuse, it is what it is so deal with it. We are still learning to navigate and live as meaningfully as we are able to during this time without hearing shit from others. So give yourself a break and find a system that works for you.
- At the same time – don’t use the pandemic as an excuse to buy shit you don’t need. Seriously.
- Use this time to learn more about personal finance. See what your savings are doing at this time and perhaps it might be good time to look into investments as well. I have been able to focus better on learning, attending webinars, short courses and reading up on personal finance during the past few weeks. While I might not be necessarily acting upon it, personal development and learning about these things is always good noh.
It’s a short post but this has been something that’s been sitting with me for a while as I tried to write on all of the other kind-of exciting personal finance stuff I have planned. As always, thank you for reading and I hope this was helpful. If you are willing to share, I’ll be happy also read any insight or hacks etc you might have on and can learn from, be it managing your own personal finances during this time or something else. If you have any feedback, comments on this post or suggestions for me to write something else on this comment, please do let me know and I will try my best to accommodate.
Good luck with your finances, stay safe and let’s take one day at a time.