CEO of Aurum Fit, self-employed
Covid-19 has paralyzed the world for over a year. But how is this health crisis affecting our financial behaviour and prosperity? We asked three people from different industries.
CEO of Aurum Fit, self-employed
During both lockdowns, we had to close all gyms and suffered a corresponding loss in turnover. For a long time it wasn’t clear whether and how we, as self-employed people, would be compensated, or whether we could apply for short-time working compensation.
We continued to pay ourselves our salary during lockdown. It was already very low even before the coronavirus crisis, because we were still in the startup phase. So I didn’t really take a pay cut in that respect. I was much more concerned about the liquidity of our company. Thanks to the government hardship payments during the first lockdown, we were more or less able to maintain liquidity. Things got much more difficult during the second lockdown. Particularly annoying for us as a growth company was the fact that hardship payments are calculated based on average turnover in 2018 and 2019. Since we have only been generating turnover since mid-2018, this value is, of course, correspondingly low and does not reflect the actual loss in turnover that we had to deal with.
Children’s clothes – we became parents during the first lockdown. Apart from that, I spend more on living costs, and streaming has also become a bigger budget item.
Travel and eating out at restaurants.
We bought ourselves a bigger bed.
No, not really. Due to my professional situation with a company in its startup phase, I was used to being very disciplined with money for some time.
Not because of the pandemic, but because I was starting a family at the same time.
Absolutely! As far as business goes, I see great opportunities for us when lockdown ends, and we are currently preparing for that. We have been able to implement many great initiatives for our customers. In this regard, I take a stoic approach: We cannot change our external circumstances, but we can work harder and do everything we can to emerge from the crisis even stronger. That isn’t always easy in everyday life. As of last year, I am no longer primarily CEO, but CSO – Chief Spirit Officer. My main job is to keep everyone motivated and fortunately that has worked quite well so far.
I would tell myself about the importance of saving and investing consistently – compound interest is just incredibly powerful. Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it can bring peace of mind.
Director of Hotel Du Lac, employee in short-time work
My industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic. I often wonder whether my employer will make it through this situation and how long it will be before we are able to work again. As well as the uncertainty, it is also affecting me financially.
As I am spending a lot of time at home, I mainly spend more money on food and drink. Before, I usually ate at work, but that is no longer possible now. Spending on short-term hotel stays has also increased. It’s currently the only way to enjoy a visit to a restaurant.
Transport costs. Expenses for public transportation and fuel have fallen. I also have less money due to my short-time working status, so I automatically spend less.
No, nothing special, but my consumer behaviour has changed because of the pandemic.
Yes. Saving is not a priority at the moment, as the loss of wages was so extreme. I have been on 80% short-time working for eight months. It seemed manageable at first, but it has become really noticeable in the long term.
Absolutely. My life has definitely slowed down. I have more time for myself and I can spend it on things that I had mostly neglected before. I also have much greater appreciation for the well-being and freedoms that we enjoyed before the pandemic.
Communications specialist at PostFinance, working from home
Fortunately very little – apart from working from home for over a year. My work can very easily be accomplished from anywhere. If anything, I would say that because I am on the road less, my working practices have become much more efficient and focused, with less stress generated by balancing children, household and work.
We rarely went out before the pandemic – that’s just how it is when you have two small children. Instead of going to a restaurant every now and then, we had food delivered during lockdown.
No, no special purchases, per se. But we went on holidays in Switzerland, so we spent more money on hotels than we usually would have.
We are incredibly lucky that neither my husband nor I suffered any financial losses because of the restrictions. We are very grateful for that.
I try to take something positive from any situation. Although it’s often a bit difficult for me in this case, because restrictions on personal freedom bother me a lot. But when it comes to the consumer economy, I think our society is now more aware of how volatile everything is. I think a desirable effect of this crisis would be if we tied the concept of “sustainability” more consciously to our consumer behaviour rather than just paying lip service. I have made it my goal to consume less and more consciously.