How to survive COVID-19 financial burdens
Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Hipstik pantyhose, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Sam Edelman bucket top handle and shoulder bag, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, V ery j button-down skirt, DIY belt, DIY snail earrings, Rebecca Collins necklace (all own), Musse & Cloud sandals c/o Coolway and sunprotective top c/o Coolibar

Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser. Using the tips given here is at your own decisions and risk.

Contents
  1. The background of this post
  2. Who is affected by COVID-19 beyond those infected?
  3. How to assess your finances
  4. Shop smart to save
  5. Invest in classics to save on your wardrobe without compromising style
  6. Using coupons isn’t just for students
  7. Take advantage of being a senior
  8. Get help thru the grievance of furlough, layoff and unwanted early retirement
  9. Wrapping up

The background of this post

When you have followed the news, you know that the Governor of Alaska had dramatically cut the university budget. The state income had fallen tremendously as it mainly depends on the oil price. Alaskans have no state income tax (yet) and even get a permanent fund, which typically is paid in October. I work at the University of Alaska and my department is among those under scrutiny. On top of this, like many other universities, the university might suffer decreases in tuition income as less students enroll for fall and due to less students per class to guarantee the 6 ft (1.82) distance. I also felt that everything about cutting my department’s programs also meant a huge emotional drain and mental stress. I am the founding chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences! Due to all these threads, I have spent some time in the last year-and-a-half to search for authoritative resources to assess my fiances and cope with stress related to them. Since these resources might help some of you during the financial burdens of the pandemic to assess your personal financial situation, make educated choices, and reach out for support, I will share them here.

woman with mask on post banner for how to survive COVID-19 financial burdens

Who is affected by COVID-19 beyond those infected?

During the COVID-19 crisis, everybody in the work force, who can’t work from home, is going thru a tough financial time. Many people have been furloughed or even laid off. Even those of us who work from home, worry about our future. Many companies, especially in luxury goods and fashion have reported decreases in revenue. Small solo entrepreneur businesses are struggling or already folded. We now all wear soft pants with slides and style graphic T-shirts instead of the newest business work clothing and pumps, right?

COVID-19 affected marketers differently. Industries making profits and booming right are those in the production of sanitizer, face shield, mask and germ killing UV instrument. Those of us who don’t work in these industries, or in fields considered life-essential (e.g. grocery stores, food production, cargo transport, postal and medical services) are worrying more about their financial situation than catching the virus.

Furloughed - Job Retention Scheme UK
“Furloughed – Job Retention Scheme UK” by microbizmag is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How to assess your finances

Before taking (panic) actions for changes, it’s important to know exactly what your financial spending is, in other word, what you need as a minimum to make a living while being able to pay all your bills, loans and mortgage. I found this website offering free interactive tools and calculators helpful to teach me about our personal finance. It has easy to use questionnaires where you fill in your numbers. Based on your answers you you learn how to assess your finances. They offer a wide range of tools from budgeting, home loans, mortgages, savings, retirement planning and so on. Their sitemap makes it easy to find the topics relevant for your situation.

example of financial calculators
Screenshot of financial calculators of all kinds

Shop smart to save

Beyond groceries, footwear and clothing there are things that have to be replaced or bought once in a while. Some purchase can be postponed, but others can’t. I wrote a guide about how you can save when shopping a while ago. Wikibuy is great for finding where you find an item at the lowest price. You can even download a Chrome extension with the app for free. However, be careful before you hit “buy now.” Sometimes a slightly higher priced item can be cheaper as it has free shipping or the lower shipping rate. This advice of great importance for my readers in Hawaii and Alaska, as many retailers offer free shipping, but not to these states.

Screenshot of the Wikibuy app
Screenshot of the Wikibuy app

Invest in classics to save on your wardrobe without compromising style

If you have to buy new clothes in financially hard times – many of us gained weight during lock down – invest into classics like black and white. This easy to recreate look of the day just needs a black skirt and cardigan, black sandals and a black and white top.

lifestyle blogger Nicole in classic black and white look of skirt, shirt, and cardigan

over 50 years old woman in posh black and white shirt, midi skirt, cardigan plateau sandals sitting on a rock
Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Hipstik pantyhose, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Sam Edelman bucket top handle and shoulder bag, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, V ery j button-down skirt, DIY belt, DIY snail earrings, Rebecca Collins necklace (all own), Musse & Cloud sandals c/o Coolway and sun-protective top c/o Coolibar

Using coupons isn’t just for students

When I was an exchange graduate student at SUNY Albany, I was introduced to couponing by my roommates. In Germany, no coupons existed in the 1980s. See it this way: No one gives away money for free. The full price tag on the merchandise is calculated with a certain percentage of people using the coupon in mind. This means you would pay for others using the coupons when you buy it without coupon. Check my gift guide regularly for promo codes on fashion, accessories and beauty products. There are also various apps dedicated to coupons for saving on groceries.

Woman searching coupons on her cell phone

Take advantage of being a senior

Various stores have a so-called senior day on which shopper over a certain age get 5-10% off (varies among stores). In Fairbanks, for instance, Value Village have their Senior Day on Tuesdays. Some restaurants also have senior dishes that are smaller and cheaper than the normal dish. Who needs all those calories to begin with? And the doggy pack too often ends up in the trash can anyhow!

Senior You Must be Senior by Andrew neher
Senior You Must be Senior by andrewneher is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Use your senior discounts. #budget #savings Click To Tweet

Learn to love yourself

Many women were raised to blame themselves for everything. Don’t go that route. You didn’t design the virus and being furloughed or laid off has nothing to do with you. It’s all about limiting the loses of the employer to save their company to survive pandemic.  Customers spend less due to less income, which is again the pandemic’s and nobody else’s fault. Try to accept a Love Yourself Challenge to up your spirits.

love yourself

Get help thru the grievance of furlough, layoff and unwanted early retirement

Being furloughed, laid off or having to enter retirement early causes grieve. Your job was very closely related to your daily life. It not only brought income. And your salary wasn’t only a compensation for your work. Your job was also social contacts. The office was your runway fashion wise. You spent at least eight hours a day, five days a week, 49 weeks a year for most of your adult life  at work. Now you not only have to take social distance, but also lose the social support of your work network. It’s just natural that you grieve this loss. Thus, if you struggle with managing this grievance seek help from professional coach to activate your inner power.

Wrapping up

Like September 11 changed the world forever, COVID-19 may be the end of the world as we know it. However, there are many resources out there that can help you to plan and assess your finances, provide tips and help to change your life to your better. Take your life in your hand by using these resources. Adopt  Mademoiselle’s motto:

My life didn't please me, so I created my life. - Coco Chanel #quote #lifestyle Click To Tweet

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2020 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. donnadoesdresses

    As always, intelligent and sensible advice being given here, Nicole! Here’s hoping that we can all navigate our way through these uncertain waters!!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

  2. Mr.Rios

    Ich befürchte, dass Sie in Bezug auf die Zukunft und die Änderungen, die Covid-19 in der Zukunft mit sich bringen könnte, Recht haben. Die Beurteilung der Finanzen ist eine Sache, und für diejenigen, deren Ressourcen festgelegt sind, reicht dies möglicherweise nicht aus. Es wird ein langer Weg sein, und die Menschen scheinen zu vergessen, dass die Pest von 1347 vier Jahre gebraucht hat, um durch Asien und Europa zu fegen. Covid-19 ist weltweit. Wir alle werden die finanzielle Belastung spüren, aber die Fäden der Gesellschaft, die einst die Menschen zusammengehalten haben, können sich möglicherweise auflösen. das scheint bei weitem ein dringlicheres Problem zu sein. Wir müssen die Realität aufnehmen, dass sich das Leben für alle drastisch ändern wird. Wir können nur hoffen, dass wir alle mit unserem intakten Leben und Sinn für die Menschheit überleben können.

  3. Sabine Gimm

    Corona ist echt ein Problem liebe Nicole. Wie es aussieht, ist der Stress noch lange nicht vorbei. Vor allem die vielen Touristen machen mir Sorgen und die feiernden Menschen auf den Straßen. Von den Demos mal ganz zu schweigen. Alles oft ohne Maskenschutz und Abstand. Als wenn nichts wäre.

    Liebe Grüße Sabine

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