1 Have an emergency fund. Because of COVID-19, Metro Manila and most of the provinces in the country were placed under lockdown. A lot of people lost their jobs in the process, leaving them without an income source.
The pandemic proved just how important having an emergency fund is. It should be easily accessible and liquid so that you can use it right away. Once you've used up your emergency fund, you have to replenish it right away.
Your emergency fund should also be able to cover your expenses for at least six months so that you don’t have to worry about running low on cash even during times when you can’t go to work.
READ: Back to basics: Building your emergency fund
2 Be mindful of your expenses. With limited financial resources during the pandemic, you must track your expenses. You might think that you’re not spending a lot, but online shopping and deliveries can quickly add up to considerable costs.
Having a budget and spending plan allows you to consider where every peso goes. This habit is not just helpful during a crisis, but also throughout the year, because monitoring your spending habits closely will allow you to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
3 Avoid incurring unnecessary debt. The need to pay your debts can add to the stress you’re experiencing in times of income uncertainty. Failing to pay even just for a month can saddle you with high interest rates and other charges, so you end up paying a lot more than what you originally borrowed.
While many lenders waived their fees due to the pandemic, it may not be the case in the future. Find other means of subsidizing your expenses other than a loan, so you don't get yourself into unnecessary debt.
READ: 7 modern tools to manage your finances more efficiently
4 Increase your savings. The pandemic has paved the way for most offices to embrace work-from-home policies, merely proving that a lot of work can be done at the comfort of your own home.
Take advantage of freelance and e-commerce opportunities that you can access with just a computer and stable internet connection. Having more than one cash source is also beneficial in the long run in increasing your savings, retirement fund, and leisure money.
5 Keep your investments intact. If you’re investing, it might be tempting to sell your stocks and other assets as you watch the market crash. But that will only put you at a loss, especially if you’re in it for the long haul.
Instead, continue consistently adding to your investments every month. The short-term conditions will eventually pass, so keep your focus on your financial goal.
6 Be prepared with health and life insurance. Health is wealth – and what better way to remind us of that fundamental truth than a pandemic?
READ: Why good health coverage is a must
Don't take your health for granted. Practice excellent hygiene and boosting your immune system. Consider getting health insurance to protect you from unforeseen medical costs and allow you to focus on getting better. Choose one with life insurance benefits as well to protect the people you love.
Be prepared for future uncertainties with BPI-Philam, which provides affordable wellness and protection solutions to make you live healthier, longer, and better. Schedule a virtual appointment with our sales executives to learn more.