Whether you think we have been in one long pandemic, or you are counting waves or phases, the latest news on the spread of COVID-19 may make you nervous. In some states, children have already started a new school year; in other states, children will start at the end of the month or after Labor Day. Some people are worried that children may become ill or that the school year will be disrupted while others are ready to resume pre-pandemic life with no fears.
Parents in the U.S. have been discussing (and joking) that they are keeping all receipts and keeping tags on some of the items they bought in anticipation of the school year. All jokes aside, this is not a bad idea. Even if the school year proceeds normally, parents can still consider returning items because many of us already have more than we need. And we are referring to things like clothes and shoes. You can hold on to school supplies like notebooks and writing tools. Unless you went overboard there too…in that case you can donate to a school supply drive or to some other organization that distributes school supplies to students in need.
If you are an employer, you may also be concerned because of the effects the pandemic and possible school closures have had and may continue to have on your workforce. With so many different kinds of businesses and organizations out there, there is no one piece of advice to guide employers through uncertain times. And people may be tired to hearing about flexibility, but it is key. Flexible work arrangements, payment plans, and other things some businesses may not have had before may be needed now. Flexibility and creativity are helpful whether you maintain your business as it is or reinvent it.
Everyone—parents, employers, and in some cases even students, need to have cash reserves on hand. If you have never saved before, this is a good time to start an emergency fund. Savings can help you feel more secure even if you never use them. Having savings can also save the day in some instances. Contact a Fee-Only financial planner if you want help outlining a plan to steady your finances.