How quickly life can change! One minute we are racing home from work on a Friday night to get ready to head off on a quick trip away with our family and friends and the next we are actually working from home and only going out to do the weekly shop and pick up some items from the chemist.
For many people reading this blog, what has occurred over the last few weeks has been a rollercoaster ride of change and many are left feeling overwhelmed at the situation they find themselves in and the need to rethink most of their lives.
For me, life has not changed too much in the area of work. I have an online business and can therefore choose to work from home or go into the office to collaborate with colleagues or to see the occasional client who prefers a face to face meeting. So the only change for me has been that I have had to teach those few that prefer face to face, how to embrace the online experience and still feel they are receiving the same service as if they came into an office setting.
However, that is where the “sameness” ends. For many of my clients, life has taken a sudden turn for what they initially thought was the worst. Clients who have high paying jobs, have suddenly found out what it is like to have their hours cut back or lose those jobs and not be able to even afford their mortgage repayments – something which is very unusual for them. Those who have businesses that they have been building over the last few years – suddenly seeing their only source of income crumble and feel their hearts sink as they see the look on their employees faces as they have to let them go. All of this has resulted in me having to question my way through the “rubble” of their once strong walled lives and come up with solutions that will help them to navigate these “unprecedented times”.
The other group of people that I coach are those that have been on a journey of transformation from a life of debt where they are at the mercy of every bill they receive to a life where they get to choose where they spend their savings. To see them suddenly being thrust back into a life they have fought so valiantly to escape from has been heart breaking and I have spent a great deal of time encouraging them that they are a lot more prepared to be able to deal with this than those who have been used to considerable funds.
So how do we answer this COVID 19 that has sought to bring our country to its knees? We fight, that’s what we do. We make a decision to kick this thing in the S.H.I.N.S (Sorry if that sounds too violent but we really have to get serious about turning this downtime into a reset time.)
S – take STOCK of where you are
H- take HOLD of the payments that are due to you through Centrelink
I – Investigate what you will need to spend
N – Negotiate if you need to with your banks and creditors
S – Sit down with a cuppa and plan how you are going to spend your time. Let’s not just sit in front of the TV binge watching all of your favourite shows. Think of all the things you have wanted to do but have never had the time to do them:
Gardening , painting, taking an online course, learning something new, reading a book, starting a business, encouraging others, if restrictions allow- go and volunteer – so many of our usual volunteers are in isolation and organisations like “meals on Wheels’ don’t have enough to deliver the meals to the elderly.
The other thing you can do is actually plan how much you will be able to save during this time. If you are staying home then really the only money you need to spend is for food, bills, mortgage or rent if you can afford it and pharmacy items. When you actually look at how little you need to spend – when you return to “normal” life once all this is over, you will be so much better prepared to live on less that you will be able to think seriously about what your “back to normal” income will be and what you can actually save in order to propel yourself forward into saving for your goals or even start investing.
So why not take some time to do some comparisons – what was your income and what were your fixed expenses and then what is your income now and your fixed expenses plus the basics and I am sure you will be amazed at the difference. I am sure you will see how that hard to afford dream of yours can actually be afforded.
I would love to hear your thoughts.