The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow not only to the healthcare industry but to the economy, as well. Even before this global health crisis hit, millions of people have already been hard-pressed to stay financially afloat, living from paycheck to paycheck and battling economic strains like high inflation rate and unemployment.
The importance of financial security in a pandemic is greatly exhibited by the worsening impact of the virus on people’s health and budgets. People need money to survive this crisis, yet they are forced to endure joblessness and financial insecurity because of it.
Financial security in a pandemic is crucial because no one knows how long this crisis will continue. Ideally, everyone must be financially stable to survive a disaster like this. In the face of rampant joblessness, people turn to other means of earning income–like investing or starting a business to support their families.
COVID-19 and the Economy
The first introduction the world had about COVID-19 was that it looked like the common flu. Now, with over 10 million people infected and 502,000 dead around the world, this new coronavirus strain has transformed the world and the economy in such a short amount of time.
To curb the spread of the COVID-19, businesses and schools had to shut down. Companies whose products or services were not deemed essential were forced to temporarily close their business and let go of their workforce. Millions of people became unemployed and are now relying on government aid to pull themselves through.
The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 is daunting for everyone in the labor force, especially those who are unable to receive enough money from their government or employers after being laid off. Financial security in a pandemic is a steep hill to climb for most of the laid-off workers who receive little to no aid. These people are forced to make ends meet through other means.
How to achieve financial security in a pandemic
For the first few days of the pandemic, you might have spent a lot of time feeling lost and helpless, especially if you were suddenly confronted with threats to your financial security, like job loss. It’s natural to fall short on preparations for an unprecedented crisis of this scale. Thus, below are a few tips to help you achieve financial stability during a pandemic:
Consult a financial advisor
Financial security in a pandemic is not something any normal person is prepared for. There’s no shame in asking for professional help about your finances, especially if you’re facing stark unemployment, failing investments, or piling debts.
Talk to a trusted financial advisor about your situation and consult about the best option for your family to make ends meet during the pandemic. Your financial advisor will assist you in exploring financial options such as investments, savings, and loans. Financial advisors can also discuss with you future issues you might face as the pandemic continues with no end yet in sight.
Review insurance options
Whether you’ve filed for unemployment or you’re seeing future job loss, it’s important to review your insurance during the COVID-19 crisis. Check with your insurance provider whether your plan covers involuntary separation and see if it entails benefits after the mass layoffs caused by the virus.
The amount you might get from your insurance provider may not hold you up through the course of the pandemic, but it can get you started in building financial security through other ways.
Look for worthwhile investments
In the pre-COVID-19 world, banking on reliable stocks can make you a lot of money overtime. During a pandemic, you’d want to invest in stocks that are benefiting in this crisis. You should also consider the relevance of your stocks after the pandemic has run its course.
Managing your investments well will provide you with solid ground, as the economy struggles during this crisis. This includes not placing all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Diversifying your investments, especially in a volatile market such as this one, can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Have a steady gig
According to the World Bank, because of the pandemic, most countries are expected to face recessions this year. And with the number of infections and deaths still climbing around the world, expect that the future will look grim for many. The failure to curb the virus in the next months spell humongous setbacks for the economy, including rising unemployment rates.
If investing in stocks is too big of a risk for your family as of now, consider looking for a steady gig aside from your day job. This can range from regular part-time work or freelance tasks that can provide you with extra income, if the threat of job loss looms. Some examples of freelance gigs are as follows:
Content writers are needed in virtually all industries for marketing purposes. Content writers write material that promotes services and products in a way that’s easily understood by the target market.
A virtual assistant’s responsibilities include writing e-mails, setting up appointments, and encoding data. Virtual assistants work from home, only needing their phone and laptop.
Social media manager
Social media managers are also crucial in promoting brands on the Internet. They are in charge of a business’s online presence that consumers easily relate to.
Consider starting a business
Aside from looking for gigs, you can also start a business to support the financial security of your family. You can maximize the power of the Internet to provide products or services in the comforts of your home.
When the lockdowns started in March 2020, the US saw growth in eCommerce, with sales jumping 14.5% in the first quarter of 2020 and online grocery sales reaching $5.30 billion in April.
Choose a product that is inexpensive to maintain but useful during this crisis, like making face masks, personal protective equipment, or sanitizers. Or, determine a viable and relevant product that’s unique; you’d want to stand out in the sea of online entrepreneurs after all.
Because of the mass layoffs, there’s also a huge number of jobless people who can benefit from a bit of income from your start-up. With the right amount of capital and creativity, you might just do well with your new business regardless of the economic setbacks of the crisis.
Be careful what you spend your money on
Financial security in a pandemic doesn’t just mean struggling to find sources of income. It also means asking yourself to be mindful of how you handle your finances. If you were used to recklessly buying things off of the Internet on a whim, you should now learn to control your urges.
Being bored in the house should not merit an online shopping spree of unnecessary items. You should always consider what your family needs the most during this crisis, and pour your resources into that. There’s no telling when this pandemic will end; so it’s best to make wise financial decisions.
Create an emergency fund
The importance of financial management for families is seen in a family’s readiness to handle any situation thrown at them.
During a pandemic, it’s crucial for you and your family to have enough emergency funds to weather all sorts of problems. This includes emergencies such as disasters, crime, and illness. Make sure that your financial plan during the crisis includes pooling money for possible emergencies your family might face.
Achieving financial security in a pandemic is a great challenge to a big portion of the population today because the financial problems they may be facing now are just a leveled-up version of what they may already have been facing before the crisis. The hustle and bustle of the minimum wage earner is amped up during the pandemic because they’ve got new problems to face.
Not learning to adapt to this new normal can literally cost lives for some families. Good thing, there are many ways to earn money outside of your day job. You just need to learn how to think outside the box and maximize what you have right now.