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2020 - A year of lessons

09 Dec 2020

We are now almost at the end of 2020 – a year that has been incredibly challenging, and even life-changing. In some ways, life has gone on as usual. We have worked. Our children have gone to school. We may even have learned a new skill. But all of this has been done in a difficult environment, surrounded by obstacles and uncertainty.

In some way, the last nine months have changed us. And, looking back, our experiences – in health, family, community, resilience, and, ultimately, survival – will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

Keeping our personal lives and families intact in this completely abnormal environment has demanded a lot of energy and forward thinking. The same can be said of our finances. After COVID-19 hit us in March, we realised that this was not just going to go away. All of a sudden, our lives were thrown into disarray and, for many, this was coupled with a sudden decrease or loss of income. To go on, you have to learn, adapt and do these things:

  • Determine your goals in advance. Then work back and make a plan to achieve them.
  • Keep a focus that helps you go on each day.
  • Keep communicating with those around you. Be honest and supportive.
  • Even if you have a plan to guide you to the end, be ready for the unexpected. Prepare to change course when circumstances change.

The reality is that COVID-19 will still be with us for some time to come. But, as humans and as South Africans, we have survived the hardest part of it. We have learnt and we have endured. This will give us greater fortitude to take on the new year, and even turn challenges into opportunities.

For instance, we managed to find some efficiencies and savings in our budget when we were not going out to restaurants, as well as buying endless lunches and coffees at the office. We have a couple of articles on saving and I think we can add some of those savings lessons here.

  1. Caitlin Abber, “What 2020 has taught us (so far)”, M.M. Lafleur, www.mmlafleur.com
  2. The Atlantic Philanthropies, “2020 hindsights. Top 10 lessons”, www.atlanticphilanthropies.org


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