2020 was the year that everything that “just doesn’t happen,” happened. The COVID-19 pandemic and everything that unfolded around it was hugely unexpected – and unplanned – for.

Luckily, along with a new year comes the opportunity to start again and put all the lessons that we learnt into practice. While 2020 showed just how much we can’t control, it also showed us what we can.

SAVING

People always talk about saving for a rainy day, which often just seems like a foreign concept – until it starts pouring. In July last year, we discussed how to save in an uncertain world, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world is extremely uncertain. We still need to apply the same mindset and continue putting away everything that we can. That means budgeting, managing your debt, cutting down on unnecessary expenses and if possible, putting away extra income from a side hustle. Yes, still!

MENTAL HEALTH

While your mental health goes way beyond the state of your money matters, financial stress has one of the most catastrophic effects on mental health. Naturally, having a solid financial base (as per our first point) can help mitigate that burden. Start by finding the right support from an accredited financial adviser.

HEALTH

Another big 2020 learning: you can’t put a price on health. It’s so important to take care of your body because if you’re faced with an illness, you’re in the strongest position to deal with it. Unexpected medical bills may however creep up or your medical aid day-to-day savings may run out before the year ends. Start an emergency fund to give you the financial boost you need before applying for credit.

While we can all hope that 2021 has a little more positivity in store for us, starting with small steps today can help you prepare for the future.