The pandemic due to Covid 19 has hit India hard to see all its citizens in dillema. The dillemas of managing their kitchens, work from home, older parents, younger kids and above all paying the hospital bills. The normal life was jolted to make us realise how poor we are in managing our day to day lives, espcially the money we earn. It is time that we learn to manage our money seriously.
I am not going to the lower strata of the society as their plight is unthinkable now and it needs a separate day to discuss in detail. The middle class families are not in comfort zone either, as people have lost jobs, or the working hours are cut and thereby salary is reduced or the business is closed. From last year 2020, when the problem was not as severe as the present scenario of 2021, we often heard about the teachers losing jobs due to schools are closed. Many employees in the IT sector were given the pink slips, many actors could not get work as the studios were closed, many restaurants reduced number of employees etc. This time, to save economy the lockdown was not declared and the virus gripped the nation very aggresively. Anyways, neither we could save the economy nor could we checked the spread of the virus. The inadequate healthcare infrastructure had been uncovered after 73 years of independence creating havoc among the public as many opted for treatment staying at home as per doctors advice due to scarcity of beds in hospitals. Many families have seen every member suffering- for example, a family of old parents, husband, wife and two children falling sick at same time bringing in disater and misery to them and their friends , relatives! The degree of sickness for each member was different! Now , the plight of that family is easily imaginable. All sick members were finding it difficult to decide whom to be hospitalized and what will be the bill if all are hospitalized. Another family, I know, where the son and the mother had to get admitted in different hospitals in a city like Delhi. The young wife had to wait with two children at home only to say good bye to her dearest. She paid the hospital bill and also let her husband to rest in peace, forever. Even, many families had to run a mini hospital at their homes with oxygen concentrators, required injections and medicines. So, the biggest question is how to get prepared financially for this kind of crisis?
If we say that we are witnessing nightmare, then it is an understatement. We are just going through hell. Who imagined that all the savings of lifetime will be siphoned off by an unseen enemy with a very short notice? Yes, Many people had not only lost money but also their dear ones. Hence, it is time we learn and think about money management with whatever we have, whatever is our earnings.
Here are the 6 ways to manage your money:
Stop living an extravagant life: Try not to spend money on unnecessary things or items. Next time when you go for shopping, prepare a list of essential items to be bought in from stores. Extra clothes, shoes and accessories do not add to your asset values. The unnecessary dinner outings, shopping, visit to a mall or a theatre must be stopped to save some money. This practice must be adopted by not only you but by all your family members. People must be convinced about the bad times and how to tackle it.
Invest money in different pots: Once you cut down your extra expenses, you can invest the money in different instruments like mutual funds, pension funds, PPFs or in any other secure savings schemes. If you are saving only two thousand rupees out of your dinner or lunch outings, after 5 years it will grow into a lumpsum amount to add to your emergency fund or can save you from any unseen traumatic incident like covid pandemic.
Make one Emergency fund : Always have one emergency fund in any bank account so that you can utilise that money during a crisis like Covid management. You can transfer money on a regular basis from your salary or can transfer your extra income to this fund. Usually emergency fund should have at least six times more money than your monthly expenditure including house rent, EMIs, school fees etc. In case you are losing your job or your buisness is not running, your emergency fund can take care of you and your family. Having an emergency fund is always a mental booster.
Health Insurance: You must have health insurance policy for you and you family members. Search for a good health policy scheme to adopt it. One funny thing is now doing round the corners. The covid patients who were treated at home are denied the amount towards the expenditure of medicines. The clients are at bay and puzzled. So, while opting for health insurance, check all the terms and conditions.
Redo your financial Planning: It is not too late. Considering the present situation going to last longer as the scientists are expecting third, fourth and fifth waves ( natural for any virus pandemic), you can prepare monthly budget to maintain a constant savings for next few months. Since the travelling is reduced, you can save the money spent towards fuel. Eat healthy food daily but cut on the entertainment sources like unnecessary subscription, home delivered foods and online shopping. Control all your temptations. You never know what the situation will be the next year, so if you have a job and regular income then you are lucky enough. Plan your monthly budget, spend accordingly. Say no to any kinds of loans if not an emergency.
Keep yourself and your family members healthy: Now you know how to avoid the viruses and other microorganisms. Develop a healthy practice at home- maintain cleanliness, use soaps and sanitizers, use masks properly, stay indoor, saty safe. Hospitalization brings in expenditures along with many other complications. Therefore, it is necessary that we take care of ourselves to stay safe and fit. Excercise regularly, eat healthy and home cooked food, try to remain stress free, never panic for anything.
Follow simple rules very firmly. Do not panic, keep calm, think and discuss with family members, Design your day to day life in such a manner that no pandemic dares to disturb you.
MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING BUT IT SURELY MAKES A DIFFERENCE.