The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has wracked the globe and left tens of thousands of dead has highlighted the precarious nature of our globalized economy.
While social media may be painting a rosy picture about taking things slow under quarantine, the true cost of this pandemic is hidden from view.
The fact is that many employees all over the world are faced with the very real prospect of losing their jobs in a market that is now headed for a recession. Social distancing and extended periods of quarantine have meant that spending and economic activity has been decimated across all fronts.
As a result, in the months to come we’ll likely see a rise in unemployment and redundancies as businesses struggle to stay afloat in a post-pandemic economy. Even if you’ve got cash put aside, there’s no telling how long this slump will last which is why it’s crucial that you have a contingency plan in place.
Given that there’s no point worrying, here are 5 things you can do to prepare yourself for the upcoming financial meltdown.
- Prioritize your bills
Even if you do have a source of income, it’s best that you practice prudent financial management during this crisis. Bills are a major drain on your finances and can leave you strapped for cash.
Fortunately, governments all over the world have begun implementing fiscal relief measures in an effort to free up additional liquidity. In the United States for example, individuals and businesses have been given an extension of 90 days to make their tax payments.
In addition, major gas and electric providers in New York state have agreed to continue providing services to customers who are unable to make payment on their bills. These measures can go a long way in helping you stretch your savings as much as possible.
Check in with your local utilities authority to determine if such programs are available in your area.
- Reduce spending
During a time, such as this, you’ll want to put aside as much cash as possible for any emergencies. Given that most of us are under a lockdown order or quarantine of some kind, you won’t need to worry about commuting.
This allows you to save up to 30 percent of your wages on commuting costs such as fare or gas. Alongside this, don’t be tempted by the many deals offered by ecommerce sites, instead spend only on what you need for the days ahead.
Any cash you can save up during this period will be essential if you are to stay afloat in the aftermath of a crisis.
- Get an extension on your credit cards
In an economic crisis, banks are oftentimes hit the hardest as borrowers struggle to make payments on their loans. Because of this, some financial institutions have revised their interest rates and may even offer an interest-free grace period.
Many credit card providers have issued statements explaining their willingness to work together with customers who may have trouble making payments. If you’ve got any outstanding debt, reach out to your credit card provider to negotiate a new payment plan.
- Avoid panic buying
With so much uncertainty on the horizon, you may be tempted to stock up on essentials in order to avoid a crunch later on. After all, with the National Guard out and about, there has been plenty of talk about martial law being implemented.
All of this is folly and will only result in you spending unnecessarily which in turn can lead to you hurting for cash. Forget all of that and stick to buying only what you need whilst keeping your shopping expeditions to a minimum.
When shopping for fresh food, make sure that you’ll be able to consume what you bought before it all goes to waste. This ensures that you cash is used on items that have actual value for you and your family.
Also if you can, try to use online websites to pay bills and if you like betting online, you can use BetAmerica.com to bet on football instead of going to a physical betting place.
Now is the time to save up as much cash as possible whilst keeping yourself in good shape. By doing so, you’ll be able to weather the storm better than most.