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The outbreak of coronavirus has silenced and brought a discomforting slowdown in the everyday lives of most of us in some or other ways. The financial sector is no exception as the virus has globally, pushed the financial markets into a tailspin. The current situation is highly uncertain and it would be prudent for every individual to take stock of their current savings, expenditures and contingency funds.
Tips to Stay Financially Prepared in Times of Covid-19
Pad your Savings
Now is the time to go extra conservative on your spending. A complete lockdown and an extreme situation of being down with the disease would mean long periods of leave and business losses. This coupled with higher medical expenses warrants a quick household budget exercise to cut out the non-essential expenditure for a few months till the time, the current economic situation stabilizes.
Build Additional Sources of Income
An extra bundle of cash can be a savior in this situation. Look out for avenues for part-time work, preferably online that could help you to overcome the financial distress with more ease. Some of the possible avenues could be writing blogs, taking online coaching or hobby classes which might be in good demand in the case of total lockdown. You can even utilize this time to join online courses to improve your long-term employability chances.
Don’t Miss Credit Payments
Avoid procrastination in managing your credit card and EMI dues. Waiting for the due date to pass could hurt your credit score if you fall victim to the epidemic. It is thus advisable that you pay off the credit card dues well in time because the last thing you want at this time is an additional burden of paying penalty fees of credit card payments. Also, avoid making any large payments with the credit cards.
To prevent yourself from getting sick from coronavirus, avoiding the crowds is key. Make use of internet banking and wallets to make payments. Ensure that you have reasonable balances in your wallet to allow quick payments. Keep your funds distributed in bank accounts and wallets to allow you to make payments as and when required. At the same time, do maintain some cash balances at home to be able to meet any emergency medical expenses.
Invest your Money Wisely
If you are planning to invest your money, identifying the markets which are hit by the virus turmoil is essential. Various sectors are falling badly, and if you invest in these sectors, you could face significant losses. Resist the temptation to invest in the markets as the course of the disease is still not certain and the economic situation of the affected countries may deteriorate significantly. Sectors such as travel, hospitality, and aviation may take a long time to recover from the losses.
Safeguard Yourself From Financial Scams
You could come across various medical practice sites that say that the treatment for the coronavirus has been discovered, which are entirely bogus. If you find any such circulars, you must not believe it by any chance. Also, if you decide to help the victims of coronavirus, you must only contact the organizations which are genuine and registered as various fake charities are also running around the corner.
Get Yourself Insured
Coronavirus is here to stay for more than a year if we go by medical experts’ advice. Hence, it may still be wise to take a health insurance cover for the Coronavirus. However, before you make health insurance, check the exclusions from medical cover and ensure that coronavirus related health expenditure gets covered in the policy, without any ifs and buts.
Take Appropriate Traveling Decisions
While traveling at this time is avoidable it may become a difficult decision to take for those who have booked in advance for non-refundable fare packages. Many governments have advised airlines and hotels to provide easy rebooking policies or lower cancellation charges. Do speak to your airlines and hotels to renegotiate your bookings. Also, keep in mind that the cost of coronavirus far outweighs the cost of cancellations, not just in financial terms but in terms of the health of your loved once.
If you have made an investment for long term goals there is no need to panic to sell your investments as continuing these investments would not do any harm to your financial health. Similarly, don’t join the rush to hoard essential commodities and contribute to society as a responsible citizen by taking adequate precautions.
Discuss your Finances with your Loved Ones
Last, but not least. Prepare a contingency plan, not only for your office but for your home. Workout various work from home options, have a laptop/desktop and high-speed internet connection at home to ensure work continuity. Keep back-ups of your passwords with a trusted one and inform your family members of your savings and insurance they could fall back on in case you are out of action for a few days.
Few Financial Do’s and Don’ts in times of Coronavirus
|Reduce your expenditure and build |
|Avoid Travel; negotiate your bookings|
|Take an insurance health policy with a |
|Make digital payments||Prevent yourself from scams|
|Create a back-up or a contingency plan||Don’t make large investment decisions|
|Build additional sources of income||Don’t miss your credit card and EMI |
Conclusion: The coronavirus is spreading fast and turning into an epidemic. As you gear to face the outbreak, it is essential to understand the magnitude of financial distress that can result from the epidemic. Stay healthy and safe not just medically, but financially is the mantra to ride out of the current turmoil with low distress.