How to improve your family’s finances in 2021?
The year 2020 has been very hard on finances. No matter how careful you’ve been, many of us have taken pay cuts or lost a part of our income due to the pandemic. As we come out of this challenging time, consider the tips below to make your family a bit more financially secure in 2021.
Do a thorough inventory
Carefully review what you have. For example, go through your children’s closets to see what still fits. Fold or hang everything that will work for them for at least the first few months of 2021. Carefully review what remains and make three piles:
- dump or recycle into a craft project
- donate basic items with some life in them
- sell specialty or label items
If your children are old enough to manage their own wardrobes, get them involved in helping with the little ones with the understanding that they can help market and sell specialty items that no longer fit. Do the same in your own closet with you as the final deciding voice on what goes and what stays.
Also, go through kitchen cupboards and refrigerator/freezer to look for canned goods close to the expiration date, frozen products that need to be used up, and anything else on the edge. Use them up in the next ten days.
Create a storage pantry
When your budget is really tight, it helps to know that you have at least a small stash of household products to see you through. For example, you can take ten dollars to your nearest Dollar Store and get nine items to reduce worry. Stock up on
- shaving cream
- dish soap
- dryer sheets
- body wash
- laundry soap
- vinegar/household cleaner (not ammonia)
and put them in a box or bin and slide it under your bed. When you run out, pull from your stash and replace it one dollar at a time to guard your budget. Never store ammonia and bleach in the same area.
Create a side hustle
If you’ve been working from home and are enjoying the freedom, study up and start a side hustle that could replace your income. From freelance writing to Forex trading training courses, you can turn your time into more money.
Take care to put this money to the best possible use as we come out of the pandemic. Yes, you may just need to cover bills for a time, and you know best what needs to happen there. However, as things improve, put this money into an emergency fund, save for a house, or do whatever it takes to keep your personal goals front and center.
When you’re already working full-time, a side hustle just cover bills can feel like a terrible burden. However, a side hustle to fund your family dreams can be inspiring, so do your best to direct these funds to something more than just bills.
Consider starting a business
Starting a business is always risky, and if funds are low it can be downright scary. Don’t get stuck worrying about the money. Instead, consider the other assets you already have, such as your skills, the tools in your possession, and the people you know.
If you’ve got a sewing machine and a staple gun, take a look at current design trends. Can you build custom window treatments, pelmets, and valances? How about costumes, or matching Easter dresses for Mom/Daughter combinations? Add matching ties or vests for Dad/Son pairings and you’re filling a niche!
For those who are crafty and have gotten compliments on their work, look for marketing help. If you’re going to sell something online, share images with friends on Facebook and ask them to like and share with their friends. When it’s safe, display your creations at craft fairs. If you make custom Santa images from wood or fabric for the holidays, set up your table and sell ice cream treats from a cooler to get folks in the mood.
Your family’s financial situation will change as we come out of the pandemic. You may have a better concept of your budgetary needs and be willing to put more time into your part-time work, side hustle, and business. Keep this income in your dream fund and use it to build security for you and yours.