Post pandemic personal finance: 4 tips on spending and saving

  • Save and invest your stimulus money, they can jumpstart an emergency fund for you.
  • Invest in CDs and treasuries. They offer a safe way to earn higher APY on your money. 
  • Unemployment compensation over $10,200 qualifies as income and is taxed accordingly and needs to be paid back.

SHIRLENE GRACE ISAAC

We’re slowly but steadily beginning to crawl out of an era that kicked up a devastating worldwide recession—inclusive of stressed-out young people new to the workforce and confused about spending and saving in a post-pandemic world.

A major economic downturn like this one hasn’t happened in over a decade. Questions like, “Should we save everything we get or spend to stimulate the economy?”, “Should we be paying off debt right or is investing a safe option?” are crowding our minds.

This past year’s economic wake-up call has dropped some hypotheses on what we can expect the post-pandemic economy to look like. It is a super intimidating time to be stepping into the real world. A new normal is on the way and we’re emerging into a post-Covid economy. So here are 4 saving and spending tips to consider.

Save and invest your stimmies

Have some leftover stimulus money? Save it!

Your modest but mighty stimulus checks can jumpstart an emergency fund. But if you have an ample amount of money already set aside in your savings account — as in 4-6 months’ worth of living expenses to cover an emergency, try investing it instead. That way you already have an emergency fund to bank and an additional income from your new investment. Thereby making it a win-win situation for you.

Pay your taxes

The good news is that unemployment benefits received in 2020 are not fully taxable. The tax slab extends up to $10,200, any income over the specified amount is taxable.

However, note that most unemployment compensations qualify as income and are taxed accordingly, whether it’s automatically withheld or not it needs to be paid back.

Start investing

The most important advice our parents could have given us all our lives, is to make saving and investing a habit. Don’t you think this is the best time to reconsider instead of putting this off like we always do!

How do we start?

Start with a comfortable savings account that holds about six months of expenses. Then think investments!

What kind of investments?

Certificates of deposit are a good way to go and are found in just about all financial institutions. They are safe and your go-to opportunity to earn higher APY on your money held with a savings account.

Treasuries and US government bills are a safe way to earn interest in a post-pandemic economy.

Anticipate independence in the economic rebound

As most companies seem to be regaining their footing, the job market is expected to swell sooner than you think. While pre-pandemic employment levels are not anticipated yet, remote work, in some form or another, is here to stay.

This will be an open door for young people to even pursue multiple avenues of income leading to an explosion of the gig economy.

So, to avoid another modern-day crash, it is important to diversify your investments as broadly as possible and remain patient, till you see your incomes soaring in.