If there is one thing that is permanent in this world, it is “change.” When the Coronavirus pandemic struck during the early part of this year, it had shaken everyone, regardless of social status. As every household has undergone drastic changes in routine, so too everyone’s finances.
Although stay-at-home orders spell lessened daily expenses, it also meant job loss and salary decrease for the many. It has been months already since the outbreak of this deadly disease. Even with the promising breakthrough on a vaccine, it would still be a couple of months before it can be fully available to the public.
This means that we need to continue being extra careful with our finances since there is no definite time when things will return to “normal.” While you may have already developed a budget plan during the onset of this crisis, consider the following tips for you to stay financially strong even beyond pandemic.
Tip to Manage Your Finances Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
None of us wish to get infected by the deadly virus, but it is important to be financially ready in case a health problem arises. Perhaps you should consider checking on your medical coverage, especially if you do not yet have one, or the one provided by your company is not comprehensive enough.
Choose a policy from a health insurance company working with a reliable health insurance FMO (Field Marketing Organization). That way, you are sure that the medical coverage of your insurance is thoroughly explained to you. Keep in mind as well that it is never too late to sign up for health insurance coverage.
Make Savings Your Priority
You never know when an emergency would strike so it would be best to be prepared, especially in your financial aspect. Emergencies are panic and stress-inducing, and it is best to avoid these negative emotions as it negatively affects our health.
To do so is to set aside as much as you can for your savings, including emergency funds.
If you are one of the workers who have shifted from the traditional office work to a work-from-home setup, you may have saved up some cash from transportation and other daily expenses. It would be tempting to splurge on yourself big time, making major spontaneous purchases. But do not give in to this temptation.
Make sure you have at least three months’ worth of usual expenses saved up, including your contingency fund.
Focus on Your Long-Term Financial Goals
These past months can be overwhelming to anyone. With groceries, utilities, student loan debts, rent, or mortgage payments lined up, you would feel that surviving right now is an uphill battle. It could be easy to get sidetracked and give up. But you need to man up and face your obligations.
If you need to make payments on your loans, you could always opt to talk to your creditor and make some arrangements to have your loan restructured. Your lenders would appreciate the gesture of approaching them in advance to let them know of your plight then have them send you a late payment notice.
Also, if you have already made some savings for your retirement, it could be tempting to transfer them elsewhere given the landscape of the stock market right now. However, experts suggest not to do so, unless it is only to cover short-term expenses. Keep in mind that your goal is to save for your retirement and that the stock market is not always predictable.
Find Alternative Sources of Income
It could be that you were among the millions all over the world who temporarily lost their job during the outbreak of the pandemic. You could also be among those who are still employed but whose salaries were significantly reduced. Regardless of the reasons, finding an alternative source of income right now is a must.
There are in fact plenty of job opportunities you can find online. All you need is reliable (and fast) internet and a dependable computer, and you are all set. Remote work right now is trendy more than ever. So instead of spending the whole day, lazily browsing your social media page, make use of your time and get another job.
Evaluate Other Expenses
Since the routine in your house has changed significantly since the outbreak, perhaps you should take a closer look again at the small expenses of your family. These include cable services, gym membership, and phone plans. Since you are all cooped up inside your house, perhaps you could let go of some of this spendings.
Instead of paying for cable, perhaps streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime would be enough. And since most gyms and fitness centers are temporarily closed right now, you could discontinue your membership instead. Consider also buying your groceries in bulk and shopping in the farmer’s market. That way, you can significantly reduce your monthly expenses.
Like any other crisis, this too shall pass. With enough control and practice in handling your finances, you can surely succeed in pandemic and beyond.