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Stress Testing Your Finances

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August 10, 2020
Volume 25, Number 32



From the Editor's Desk
by Gary Foreman
[email protected]

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

 

Just last night I heard a baseball announcer say that 2020 needed a mulligan. It's a golf term and I'm not a golfer. But I understand it means that you get to do the shot over. If that's the case, then yes, 2020 needs a mulligan!

 

One of the biggest changes that we've faced this year is in how, where and whether we work. A couple of weeks ago we discussed how to survive on a really tight budget. You can find it a couple of entries down in From the Editor's Desk. It's a few posts down.

 

Let's look at some of the ways our jobs have changed and will continue to change. The virus has changed some jobs in permanent ways. Some will have a major impact on your finances. Take steps now to adjust.

 

Most traditional brick and mortar stores will not regain all the business they lost during the virus. Shopping habits have changed. Those who were used to shopping online began to purchase everything for delivery. Those who hadn't bought online (or rarely did) were forced to learn new skills. Many now are seeing the benefits and conveniences of shopping online.

 

That means that if you've been working in brick and mortar retailing your future is cloudy at best. For instance, last month JCPenney announced that they were closing 151 stores. That's just one example. There are many others.

 

Bottom line? There will be fewer jobs for clerks, mannequin dressers, maintenance people, etc., in the future. If that's you, don't hope for a job in retailing to crop up and come to you. Look for something that doesn't depend on a store front.

 

My wife and I like little local family owned restaurants. Generally inexpensive and often quite good. We try to have a dinner date once a week. The virus made that totally impossible for a time. Here in Florida restaurants have reopened at 50% capacity. That isn't enough business to keep them going long term. It's estimated that up to 3/4 of independent restaurants may not survive.

 

Cooks, servers, etc., at all restaurants have been affected. Many are paid mostly (if not entirely) on tips. Half capacity means a serious cut in income. And that's if you're working at all.

 

The leisure and hospitality sector will take a long time to recover. I was at our local airport a few weeks ago. It's small but fairly active. This time it was a ghost town. Very few people.

 

Will there be family owned restaurants in the future? Sure. Will people travel? Of course. But it could take years for things to be like they were pre-virus.

 

On the other hand, some things didn't change. Even after COVID people will get sick. There will always be a need for nurses and caregivers. As the baby boomers get older, there will be more eldercare employees needed.

 

Skilled trades will become more popular. Especially for young people who are priced out of college. There will always be a need for skilled plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc. Those jobs can't be outsourced to another country and no virus can eliminate your need for heat or A/C.

 

Expect that more jobs will be 'work from home' positions. If you're uncomfortable with online meetings, now is the time to get over it.

 

This could be the time to enroll for some online job training. Learn a new skill that makes you more marketable. Best Adult Education Resources will help you see what's available to you.

 

Another skill that could come in handy is Writing a Job-Winning Resume.

 

For readers in their 50's or older, you'll want some help Finding Part Time Work When You're Over 50.

 

If you're still working but worried that your job could end, 13 Steps to Preparing for a Layoff could be invaluable to you.

 

Normally I like to leave everyone with a cheerful/optimistic thought. That's pretty hard with this topic. The virus shutdown has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and severely cut income for many who are working. The longer that we stay shut down (or partially shut down), the more pain there will be. Let's all hope that we can get back to work soon and make the needed adjustments to provide for ourselves and our families.

 

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Gary



A Stress Test for Your Finances
A global pandemic is a good reminder to stress test your finances on a regular basis.

Is My Husband Liable for His Ex's Hospital Bill?
You might be surprised at the answer.

Can You Trust Your Financial Advisor?
Find out who's paying them.


The Big Difference Compound Interest Can Make to Small Savings
Know how to turn little savings into big financial results.

What Should You Do With Life Insurance Policies You No Longer Need?
We speak with a CFP who says they should be treated like an asset.

50 Uses for Vinegar that Can Save You Money
Break out those gallons of vinegar.


14 Reasons Your Teen Should Have a Clothing Allowance
Avoid the battle over teen clothing with these tips.

Buying a Cheap, Reliable Used Car
Take these steps to find a reliable used car for less.

What Is the FIRE Movement?
And why should you join?
 
See this week's TDS Readers' Tips
 
Do You Have a Tip to Share?
Do you have a tip that you'd like to share? Just send your suggestion to [email protected].

Recommend The Dollar Stretcher
 
Click here to invite your frugal friends.

Can We Help You?



The Dollar Stretcher and Dollar Stretcher, Inc. does not assume responsibility for advice given.  All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly.  It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for his/her own situation.


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