As a nation and global citizens, we are currently facing unprecedented times. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has pushed several states and cities into a complete lockdown. Businesses have either come to a standstill or are trying to best manage operation through widespread digital mediums, while maintaining proper social distancing.
Instead of chasing business and financial goals, the emphasis has now shifted on maintaining proper health and exercising caution to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. However, in these times of crisis, it becomes more important than ever to take care of one’s financial health. To the same end, here’s discussing five ways in which people can address growing financial concerns in the times of coronavirus.
- Prioritize and revisit your financial Goals
Amidst lockdown, take some time to review and prioritize your financial goals. If the business activities have been halted, it would have an impact on your income, which in turn, would put pressure on the monthly budget, EMI outflow, Insurance premiums , investments and new asset acquisition plan. One may have to break the savings funds to set some money aside for the emergency. The financial goals would thus need to be realigned to ride out this global crisis.
- Stop making decisions based on Fear
The old saying “Patience is a virtue” could not be more relevant in the present situation. While nationwide lockdowns may spur fear, please understand that nothing is permanent. The tough times, as they say, don’t last but tough people do! To the same end, try and act rationally, as much as possible. It is best to be patient and not take financial decision based on fear. This step is extremely crucial, especially if you have made any long-term investments. Instead of breaking into those funds, it’s best to ride out the waiting period. The investments are expected to pick up once the normalcy is achieved.
- Reduce financial obligations like debts and expenses
When faced with challenging times, as a rule of thumb, budget for the upcoming period, and try to stay within its parameters. To best combat the present situation, try and reduce the expense as much as possible. If you are having some surplus fund it will be better to reduce the loan obligations. It will reduce the interest cost and reduce the debt burden. It is also advisable to keep expenses to a mere minimum; exercise self-control and don’t give into panic buying.
- Guard your Health and Wealth
In these times of a global pandemic outbreak, your health has never been more important. Thus, you must take proper care of your health, stay at home, self-isolate or observe proper social distancing. At the same time, please also get you health properly insured. Furthermore, if the major source of income for you is from rent, get it insured to protect your wealth. Several new-age platforms are offering completely digital financial products with paperless processes and no human contact. You may wish to take their services in guarding your health and wealth.
- Keep enough liquidity to meet urgent needs
In the times of a crisis, you must have enough liquidity to meet your daily requirements. Thus, it is advisable to keep your money in such instruments that can be easily liquidated. Even while budgeting, always set out an amount that you can use should the lockdown were to be extended. You may also want to get in touch with your network of friends, family, colleagues, investors etc. who can help you with emergency funds, should the need arise.
The present times warrant for us all to exercise caution and take care of our health, for the sake of everyone else. Having enough financial resources to ride out the waiting period is an essential part of this exercise. Follow the aforementioned suggestions to ensure enough financial leeway during this period of a lockdown. Stay home, stay safe!
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Zafar Imam, Lead, OPPO Kash.