Kolkata, March 28: Working from home is the new norm in the age of COVID-19. While the lockdown in India is till April 14, companies are likely to extend work from home for a longer period. While nobody wants to stay at home all day, the good part is that this is giving many of us lots of extra time as there is no commute.
You can actually use this extra time to finish some financial tasks which you have been putting off for long.
1. Make a budget: A budget is nothing but an exercise, which shows you how you are spending your hard-earned money. Without knowing where your money is going, you can never have a surplus and hence can never save for any long term goals. If you do not have a budget yet, now is the time to make one. To begin with, you should make a list of all your monthly expenses. You can use a diary, an excel sheet or one of the several online tools or apps to help you with it.
2. See where you can cut down on expenses: If you have been living from paycheck to paycheck, the next month or so is an exercise to show you how you have been spending all the extra money. Over the next three weeks you will not spend on eating out, movies or even order food or splurge on online shopping. In fact, you will not be spending on any sort of discretionary expenses. While you would want to spend on these things once the lockdown is over, this is a lesson that you can actually cut down on these costs. For example, you may very well cut down how much you spend on eating out. Remember, all the money you save can go into savings for your long-term goals.
3. Check your credit score: Lots of websites let you check your credit score for free. It is important to check your credit score on a regular basis. You not only get to know where you stand, it also teaches what has affected your credit score and what you can do t repair it. This is a good time to check your credit score and take a detailed look at your credit report.
4. Review your long-term goals: This is also a time to go through all your long-term goals and review them. See which of the goals are on track and which aren’t and if you need to make any changes to your existing investments. Sometimes, some goals need to be tweaked too or postponed. If you had an international holiday planned this summer or fall, you may want to put those resources to some other more immediate use, like boosting your emergency fund.
Put away an hour everyday for some financial task and make most of your time at home.