The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of us in multiple ways. With the detection of the new COVID-19 strain, there seems to be no end in sight. In these challenging times, when people are losing jobs and facing pay cuts, it becomes increasingly important to manage our finances smartly, ensure the safety and long-term being of our families, and be prepared for any mishaps.
So how would you do that? Here are our SMART TIPS:
- Emergency Funds
Put away some money every month and save it in your bank account or stash it out in the corner of your cupboard. Better yet, make a fixed deposit. Experts advise emergency funds to be worth at least six months of necessary expenses. This will help you immensely in case of medical emergencies or if you’re running short on cash and need to make essential payments for school fees or loans and EMIs.
Investing in insurance schemes might sometimes seem like a waste of money or something you should only do in the long-term. If you don’t have any insurance policy, make sure to get one, even if it’s for a small amount. If you do have any, make sure to pay premiums to ensure no policy lapses. Life and health insurances come in handy in case you fall sick or someone’s untimely death. Also, invest in individual insurances in case you get kicked off your workplace’s policy.
- Make priorities
Prioritize your spending. Avoid spending on useless ventures, and make sure you are efficient in your expenditure. Make sure you don’t impulsively buy things, entranced by corporate deals and sales. Only buy things you need immediately. Keep up with loan payments, your children’s school fees, and electricity and internet bills. Cancel non-essential subscriptions to streaming platforms. Only focus on what is necessary.
- Government Assistance Programmes
Governments have announced relief packages during the pandemic. Crores of money are being invested for those affected by the COVID crisis. Some assistance programs have also been launched for those facing lay-offs or salary cuts. There are also tax reductions and stimulus packages for small businesses. Research well, and find out if you can use any of these schemes, and use them to the best of your benefit.
- Debts and Loan EMIs
Check with your bank. They may have lowered their interest rates or reduced penalties. Several banks are offering assistance in payments of loans and other EMIs to their customers. You can request your bank to hold EMI payments for the next three months until things improve. If you have borrowed from elsewhere, approach the creditor, and explain your situation. In any case, you might be able to get some relaxation offered to you.
- Try to get an extra income
If you have free time in your hands, there are several small projects you can take up to supplement the family income. Consider selling off antiquities. Several online thrift stores will sell your old clothes for you. You can pick up freelancing or tutoring. Many sites pay you to fill out surveys. Sell opinion pieces to online papers and magazines. The income might be small, but it is still something.
We know times are tough and testing, so it is essential not to lose hope and be smart and discreet in all things, especially in financial aspects. Make judicious use of your money, save well, and you’ll battle out this hardship just fine!
I’ll love to know what other strategies you take to be more intentional with your finances, so feel free to share with other moms or comment down below. Until then, stay safe, supermoms.
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