Guest Post by Sarah Bull, blogger at www.economymom.com
Due to pandemic-related shutdowns in women-led industries, women have been hit harder by the current recession than in previous economic downturns. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for panic. Even if your situation is financially unstable right now, you can survive the recession by picking up money-making opportunities online and building a solid household budget. Here’s what you need to know about how the recession is impacting women and what you can do to thrive during this period of economic decline.
Women Hit by Pandemic-Related Closures
Why are women feeling the effects of this recession more than previous downturns? Quartz explains that 2008 job losses centered around the construction and manufacturing industries in which women make up only a small portion of employment. However, the coronavirus recession looks a lot different. Coronavirus job losses concentrated in the health, education, retail, leisure, and hospitality industries where women make up the majority of the workforce. In April, women lost 11.3 million jobs compared to the 9.2 million lost by men. The coronavirus crisis has also had an impact on household dynamics. With schools and daycares closed, many women were forced to stay home and look after their children.
Look for Work Online
If you lost your job to the pandemic, this could be a great time to re-invent your career! Jump on this opportunity to pivot towards work you find more interesting and fulfilling, whether this means switching industries completely or transitioning from employee to freelancer. When you’re ready to get started, don’t forget that Boulo can help you find work with flexible hours!
Freelancing is an excellent way to put your existing skills to work or try your hand at something new. You can work as much or as little as you like, follow your own schedule, and set your own rates. All you have to do is choose a niche and find some clients and you can start generating income immediately! Not sure where to start? Consider working as a freelance fashion writer, graphic designer, virtual assistant, social media manager, or customer service expert. You can turn nearly any skill into a lucrative freelance career!
If you’re new to working from home, take some time to secure your online accounts and personal devices against viruses and hackers. Cybercriminals will target anyone and everyone. While you may think you’re safe from common cyber threats because you don’t own a big business, you can still become a victim. Be proactive and learn about the ways digital security can protect your freelance career from costly losses!
Holding high-interest debt can be debilitating during a recession. Unfortunately, women hold two-thirds of all student loan debt in the country, according to CNBC. Even if you’re swimming in interest payments, finding ways to pay down your debt is important so you can start building up an emergency fund and saving for your future. In fact, this could be a great time to pay down that student loan! Interest rates on certain federal student loans have been set to 0 percent temporarily, so any payments you make toward your loan will go entirely toward your balance instead of being eaten up by interest.
Build a Household Budget
Adjusting your household budget is one of the most important financial moves you can make during a recession. If you lost your job, you may need to strip your budget down to the bare bones to make ends meet until you can secure a new source of income. Track your spending for a month and take a good look at your purchase habits. Chances are, there will be areas where you can make cuts without impacting your quality of life. Even if you have to give up your favorite takeout meals or cancel your cable service for the next couple of months, the sacrifices you make today will set you up for a financially secure future.
Like all recessions, the current economic slump is wrought with uncertainty. We don’t know how long it will take for things to rebound or what the recovery will look like, particularly for women-held jobs that have been hit by pandemic-related closures. In the meantime, establish a new source of income by working online, reduce your spending, and pay down debt.