What I Did To Survive Without Pay During The Pandemic

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It’s been pretty hard lately. COVID-19 has forced us into this seclusion, and a lot of us have no work. If there is no work, then there is no pay. That’s what happened to me. For more than two months, I have been staying at home with no work. At first, it shook me. How can I literally live without pay for the next few months? I knew it was going to be long since there is no known vaccine for the virus. And there are new cases of COVID-19 each day. It’s just increasing. How can I survive this?

Well, two, almost three months have passed, and some businesses are open now. My employer has resumed operations in a limited capacity, though. It’s just a good thing that we were all retained, but our salaries have been slashed, and we agreed to that. We all needed money, and we all had to start working. Question is that how was I able to survive almost three months of no money?

Do you know the saying, “save up for a rainy day?” My mother was an accountant, and she always instilled in me the value of saving money. She was a smart spender and, at times, frugal. Yes, I wanted to buy those perfumes and high-end makeup. I longed to wear those nice shoes that my co-worker just bought. That is such a nice bag, but at $100, I remembered my mom saying – “Mija, that’s too much. That $100 bag has the same carrying capacity of that $30 bag. Be smart.” She was right.

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On expensive things, we buy the “value” of it, the brand, and the name. But you know what, during the pandemic, the expensive bags were useless. Those high-end makeup palettes and lipsticks, nobody can see you wear it. People put on a mask to cover their mouths and faces. The high-end makeup won’t matter anymore.

During the pandemic, we have learned a lot of things. Vanity is deemed useless. Basics will always be the staple no matter what, and I am glad I followed my mom’s advice. I became a smart spender like her, and for that, I have savings. I have saved up for the pandemic rainy day. And even if I didn’t have to pay for almost three months, I made it without having to go broke or borrow money. Let’s just say I had money equivalent for 12 months of my basic expenses. Yes, I had it, and I am proud of myself for that achievement.

My mother was also entrepreneurial. She always said that I must never stop thinking of ways to earning a buck, as long as it is clean. So, when my employer said that we had to shut down, I went full blast on my side business. I had a part-time business back when I was still employed. It is not much, but it is okay money. Actually, it helped me with my savings. I made these oil concoctions for various use. And yes, I sold headache oil, sleepless nights oil, energizing oil, and more. I also had oil mixtures for skincare. This was my business for the entire lockdown time, and it was the source of my food, three meals a day.

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I also improved myself in away. With a lot of time in my hands, I took up online classes. When my boss learned of what I did, she said that my certification could earn me a promotion at work. And so, I was keen on being productive because I want that promotion. What about my side business? It is still on. I had created a big batch during the lockdown, and now, I am marketing it on IG, FB, Twitter, and TikTok. In a way, the pandemic had made me resilient, and I adjusted to the new normal.

Nobody wants to have that kind of life event again. But just in case it does return, I hope my words above have some depth and meaning to everyone who reads it.