If there’s one lesson that’s rarely taught in school, it’s about how we should be frugal or at least careful with the way we spend. If ever such a lesson is taught, it’s only in passing. But even if this lesson is followed, the reality of life is a bit more, well, real. Parents are the ones who usually tell us to be frugal especially if our family is living from salary to salary. There’s barely any savings at all. The more fortunate families have their struggles too when it comes to money. Regardless, this pandemic has done a lot of damage directly and indirectly. Jobs were lost and businesses were closed or in suspension. So, in these hard times, you need to careful with finances and fix your financial habits.
How to Fix Your Financial Habits
Christmas is coming, a time when people are expected to spend what they’ve saved up the whole year. But this pandemic is an eye-opener for many that plans don’t always go accordingly and thus, fixing our financial habits is a must because we don’t know when new troubles can happen. It’s better to always be prepared for a rainy day. Here are a few things one can do to prepare for such an eventuality.
#1. Do Not Do So Much Online Shopping
The pandemic forced many businesses and customers to conduct their online transactions on the internet via online shopping. The internet graced us with the ease of shopping without having to fall in line, driving to different shopping centers (which uses up fuel which is another expense), risk oneself to getting exposed to the virus, waiting at the ATM to withdraw, among many other things. But it turns out this causes another issue among shoppers which is to be careless with their spending. You’d think with fewer jobs, less driving, less economic activity, people would be frugal but the irony of online shopping is that making things too easy with the addition of having more options, in terms of products to buy and means to pay, can cause people to get carried away. Impulse buying is a serious issue that people need to recognize before it’s too late.
#2. Save for the Rainy Day
Regardless of your financial situation, it only takes one illness, one tragedy, one lost job, or one wrong decision to cause a lot of problems as the result of a domino effect. Save for that rainy day, especially in these times we are living in. Even with financial aid coming from the government, that might not even be enough, if it comes at all. At best, it will feed a family for a week. The holidays are coming again and people will be buying like mad. How about this? The latest graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia and some gaming consoles just came out and are priced high. But before justifying that being locked at home is enough justification to buy new gaming hardware to a game on, maybe just remember that you can’t eat teraflops of processing power. Better save that money for a better day.
#3. DIY Cooking, Order Sparingly
Since many are locked in their homes or just not willing to go out despite lockdowns being lifted, this is a great opportunity to learn some new hobbies like cooking. We have the freedom to watch cooking shows online for free on youtube and learn from there. Okay but how about the ingredients? You don’t need to cook up a storm, look for recipes that are easy to cook where the ingredients aren’t too expensive. Also, if you have space, try to do some backyard farming. Plant spices and vegetables so you don’t have to shop too much for ingredients.
If you still have work or schooling to do online, you obviously won’t have the time to do some DIY cooking or gardening, this is when you can order online. But just like shopping, look for restaurants that offer food and delivery at a reasonable price and avoid ordering too much. Order only what is necessary to provide energy for the day.
#4. Don’t Be Idle
Work and businesses are closed or in suspension during the pandemic so naturally, people are left with no options but to be idle. Not everyone is exactly prepared to jump-ship to a hobby or career that is still sustainable even in a closed-down economy, except maybe some content creators online, they only make up a very small number of the overall workforce in the economy. The majority are left without work and are just waiting. But if there’s any resource that we need to treat well, it’s time. Time is money as they say. Time lost is time that will never be taken back unless by some miracle someone invented the time machine. But right now it’s best to assume that’s fiction. We must focus on the present and make the most of what time we have.
#5. Pay Your Loans and Bills
The grace period granted by the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act is not something that can be relied on as a clutch. Just like in the movie Terminator, all it does is to delay the inevitable Armageddon. In this case, paying unpaid rent and utilities. At least your landlord can’t kick you out, though. However, if there are means to pay back unpaid debts, it’s best to do it as early as possible. This helps ease any financial worries in the long run and it helps with one’s credit score. If you ever intend to get a small payday loan once the economy is ready to restart, you should look good in the eyes of the bank.
Speaking of loans, those in business or are looking to pay utilities will not have the necessary cash exactly. Chances are, all their savings have been used up during the lockdowns. To restart, some will have to take the risk of borrowing money. The people in society who are most affected by the lockdowns are those working in small and micro-businesses. Not a lot of capital and income rotate in those sectors. There are many lending companies out there willing to lend a hand in the form of cash.
Borrowing money from the right company like Robocash grants the borrower flexibility in terms of repayment. Payment terms can be extended, and only interested in added days need to be paid. First-time borrowers will have limited access to some features of the service but those who have already used the service have an easier time borrowing for a second or third time. If you are planning to restart your businesses or start a new one and you need cash for capital. Robocash may be the service you are looking for.