Wow, it’s almost October! 2020’s been a wild ride, hasn’t it?
Of course, we’re talking about Covid-19 and this “new normal” that we’re still getting to grips with.
While the pandemic has shown us how tough and positive Malaysians can be, Covid-19 has exposed the weakest part of our preparedness when it comes to facing a crisis - money.
And it’s not just us Malaysians either. This is a worldwide phenomenon - from Australia to Argentina, many countries’ economies and their individuals find themselves in dire straits when it comes to finances as a result of Covid-19.
Through our #LetsTalkMoney series, BigPay has always been about getting you well-equipped to handle every financial situation you’re in. This week, let’s talk about how you can stay financially healthy in every crisis in this post-COVID-19 world!
1. Build yourself a financial safety net of at least 3 months
As you’ve probably just experienced, when a crisis of this magnitude happens, the economy takes a beating for a myriad of reasons - e.g. closed borders, loss of consumer confidence, halting global trades.
When the financial turmoils of big corporations trickle down to us average salary earners, it’s going to be brutally predictable - your pay gets reduced, or you lose your job.
Malaysia’s recent response to Covid-19 has proven this. Our Movement Controlled Order (MCO), where the majority of businesses were shut down, lasted from 18 March to 4 May - the corresponding unemployment rate shot from 3.9% to 5.3%.
While it’s a stark reminder that our jobs are unfortunately at the mercy of the economy, what we can do on our end is to be prepared for it!
Fortunately, preparing a financial safety net is slightly more straightforward if you’ve got the right budgeting tool.
Just take a look at your monthly spending across all categories for the past 3 months and work on saving an equivalent amount!
2. Set aside some money for upskilling opportunities
If you’ve been following our #LetsTalkMoney series, you’ll have seen how we’ve advocated for upskilling yourself to protect your earning capabilities and beat that notorious salary ceiling.
In the face of a pandemic, we think it’s even more of a necessity than ever before to equip yourself with skills.
Take digital marketing, for example. Businesses are turning to digital marketing in droves to reach customers that they can’t physically interact with - and this is just the starting point.
If you’re in the field of writing, design or video editing, it’s worth translating your skills into creating ads for the digital marketing space!
We recommend websites such as General Assembly, Codeacademy, Coursera or Udemy for great online courses to get yourself professionally equipped for anything from digital marketing, coding to data science!
3. Stay lean and mean at times of trial
The best businesses that thrive during a crisis are the ones who can stay lean and still stay mean in terms of running their business. In other words, cutting costs at exactly the right places.
While this might unfortunately mean staff layoffs, great businesses cut costs that are small enough to keep the day-to-day business running efficiently, yet significant enough to make an impact at the end of the day.
We’d do well to take a leaf from that. Here are some suggestions off the top of our heads, but we encourage you to think of more!
Shop from local wet markets instead of premium grocers
Pick house-branded or economical choices, instead of imported, speciality options
Set a realistic dining budget vs splurging at seriously swanky restaurants
Of course, if you manage to stay lean even after a crisis has passed, it’ll supercharge your savings and potentially land you your first home!
While it’s off the usual track of getting you to manage your money better, we hope this article gets you ready for the next crisis, no matter what it is!
As always, we are happy to share and talk to you more about smarter money decisions. Let us know what you’d like to read more about in the comments below for our next piece on BigPay’s #LetsTalkMoney series!
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