After everything that we have been through since March 2020, the last thing that you want to be thinking about is that there are still going to be more challenges to come in the Fall and Winter ahead. We have all faced so many different problems, from losing our jobs to worrying about the health of our loved ones, that it really does feel like we all deserve a break. No one has been completely untouched by the pandemic, and we know that some people have been hit harder than others.
But while we all do our best to enjoy the summer sunshine and to make the most of restrictions being rolled back, it is also important to remember that we should all be taking measures to ensure that we are as best placed as possible to ride out any storms that may be incoming.
The way that the Delta variant has hit the United States has made us all aware of the fact that trying to pretend that things have already gone back to normal is not helpful. We need to be aware, we need to be proactive, and we need to be smart. Here are a few of the big issues that you need to think about and how you can best prepare for them.
The Pandemic May Be Subsiding But It Hasn’t Gone Away
It is understandable, given how desperate we all are for good news, that we treat any positive step in the fight against COVID-19 as a huge victory. We are all waiting for that wonderful moment in time when we can fully return to how things were before March 2020, but it gives us no pleasure to say that this is not that moment. We mentioned the Delta variant, which is causing a huge amount of trouble for the US right now as well as many other nations around the world. The rising discussion around proof of vaccination at work is just one of the hotly contested issues. But we need to remember that there is always the chance that other variants will emerge. We are going to have to learn how to continue to live in a way that best protects us against the threat of Coronavirus for a while longer.
So, make sure that you build flexibility into any of your major life event planning. Be prepared with a back-up plan in case a venue or supplier suddenly has to close due to infection. Make sure that you are comfortable continuing to work from home if your company decides that is the best course of action. That means investing in some proper home office furniture to improve your posture, and it may well mean investing in a better internet package.
When it comes to the pandemic’s potential impact on the job market in the months ahead, we all need to work on our resumes to ensure that they are up to date and reflect our skills and experience. If yours could use a little extra boost, why not think about investing in some online classes? There are so many different courses available now that you could either look at retraining for a different career path entirely or giving yourself some extra skills to make you the most appealing candidate for the job. From social media and digital marketing to video editing and people management, you will be able to find something that will show your determination to keep bettering yourself and honing your talents in a trying time.
Financial Security Is A Hard Thing To Come By
There cannot be many people out there who have not had to worry about their employment over the course of the pandemic. Whether you were put on furlough or laid off, whether your side hustles dried up or your small business hit hard times, we have all had to spend a lot of time thinking about how we can make our dollars stretch further. Businesses are back open, and companies are starting to encourage people to return to the office (although many are insisting on proof of vaccination), but you cannot afford to see this as an invitation to abandon all the sensible steps that you have been taking when it comes to saving.
One of the most important things that you need to do as we head into the dog days of summer is to take a good long look at your finances. Create a clear budget so that you can see exactly what you are working with in terms of incomings and outgoings. Think about how you can start to whittle down the amount you are spending every month by making smart choices. Make sure that you stay on top of your debt repayments to keep your credit score looking healthy and to improve your chances of finding a good rate on loans should you need one in the near future.
If you want to give your income a little boost in the months ahead, think about taking on a side hustle through some freelancing or part-time work. One of the most important factors in your budget should be your discretionary income. That means the amount of money that you have left every month after you have paid your bills, taxes and essential costs (that includes things like food and clothing). Knowing how much discretionary income you have to work with can help you save. Tally has a calculator to help you get to do the math, and you can see if their app could help you get out of debt faster.
Climate Change Is Here
Sometimes climate change can feel like an issue that is happening elsewhere. Sometimes it can feel like a problem that is so big that it is impossible to get your head around. What has happened already in 2021 has brought global warming home in more ways than one. We saw the freezing ice storm in Texas in February, we saw the massive heat wave in Seattle, and we are continuing to see scary events in nations all over the world. If you think that this is an issue that is not going to affect you in the near future, you are sadly mistaken.
But what can any of us do in the face of such a massive issue? We can start by making a difference anywhere we can. Put your money where your mouth is by shopping for brands that source their materials and labor responsibly. Recycle as much as you can and try to avoid single use products. Bottled water is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to plastic waste, so invest in a reusable water container.
If you’re looking for what you can do around the home, install low-flow appliances and think about upgrading your appliances to newer machines with better energy efficiency ratings. You should also think about ensuring that your home is ready for a more intense version of the usual seasonal climate. That means checking your roofing, making sure that your pipes are insulated, and that you have a plan to hand in case of any flooding. You should also make sure that your home insurance is up to date and that you don’t have any loopholes in your policy that could leave you high and dry.