Financial health is the biggest concern of workers during the pandemic: how to improve yours


It’s natural to worry about money matters once in a while or even all the time. But in a recent MetLife survey, 56% of workers say that since the start of the pandemic, they worry about their financial health, more than their mental, social and physical health.

In many ways, this is not surprising. The coronavirus crisis has sparked an unprecedented unemployment crisis that has seen millions of people lose their jobs every week when the going gets tough. And while there has been a fair amount of help in the past 18 months – stimulus checks, mortgage forbearance, rent assistance, and increased tax credits – it’s still understandable that working people today have their share of money worries.

If financial worries are keeping you awake, here are some essential steps you can take. And the sooner you do it, the better you’ll feel about your situation.

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1. Build or increase your emergency fund

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having money in savings. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of essential bills. If your savings aren’t there yet, increasing them could be your ticket to more financial security.

You do not know how to enrich your savings? If you are already living frugally, a temporary sideline might be a good solution. There may only be a limited number of expenses that you can cut back, but if you take a second job, you can use your earnings to fill your bank account.

2. Eliminate unhealthy debt

Many people were in debt before the start of the pandemic. And many were forced into debt once the crisis started.

If you are now sitting on a credit card balance, that alone could cause you a world of financial stress. And so the more you are able to reduce it, the better.

Just as a little nudge can help you increase your emergency savings, it can also help pay off debt faster. While you can’t lose all of your balance, you can lower it so that there is less suspension over your head.

3. Develop your professional skills

For some people, financial insecurity can stem from job insecurity. During the pandemic, many people found themselves unexpectedly unemployed, so it makes sense that you are worried about being made redundant yourself.

If so, one of the best things you can do is improve your job skills so that you can be a more complete employee. That alone could justify you staying if your company is forced to lay people off.

Of course, in some cases you can be the best employee your company has ever hired and still be fired if the circumstances are right. But the more value you bring to your employer, the less likely you are to end up on the chopping block.

Financial worries can keep you awake and impact your mental and physical well-being. If you’re concerned about your financial health, take these important steps. They could end up changing your outlook for the better.

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