The pandemic has worsened financial struggles, but there are things we can do to cope.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the physical and emotional health of many people, but their 'financial health' too.
Many have lost their jobs, and young adults entering the working force are worried over their careers and ability to repay their student or housing loans.
In such dire times, knowing how to manage your finances and be smart in your budgeting becomes crucial.
Here are five tips to help you safeguard your finances during COVID-19:
1. Assess your current financial situation
When there's a change in your income, there needs to be a shift in your budget as well.
Review your spending habits and cut down on the wants so you have more for your needs. Knowing what you're spending on can give you more flexibility to adjust your budget.
There are also various outlets such as MyCareersFuture and SGUnited Traineeships (mainly for graduating students) that offer job opportunities or financial assistance schemes to help you through this difficult period.
Head here to check out the full list of government grants, funds and packages.
2. Keep track of what you're spending on
Don't be spending more than what you earn, especially in a time like this.
Discipline yourself and keep to a strict budget to deter yourself from over-expenditure.
Having a visual record of your finances might help you refrain from overspending.
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If you're struggling to do so, consider using apps or websites such as the MyMoneySense Expense Manager to keep tabs on your spending habits.
3. Save your money before spending
Another great way to avoid overspending is by breaking up your monthly income.
Designate a specific percentage, perhaps 20 per cent, or a fixed amount of your income to be set aside as your savings before you begin spending.
This amount can change depending on your financial situation for that month.
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Doing so helps you not only prevent impulse spending but ensures that you have a set of emergency funds if needed.
MyMoneySense can even help you calculate a suitable amount of savings and set up automated transfers! Click here to do so.
4. Strategise your payment plan
If you're in financial debt, take note of all your incoming loans and payments.
This includes the amount you owe, the interest rate as well as any legal action that may have been taken against you.
After that you should organise your payments accordingly, beginning with those that have high interest rates or are overdue so you can prevent further accumulative charges or debts.
Avoid taking on new loans to pay your previous loans, especially during economic instability, as it might put you in deeper debt.
5. Seeking other forms of financial help
Nonetheless, if you desperately need to take a new loan, you may use the MoneySense Debt Calculator to weigh your options and repayments.
If possible, request for deferments or extensions from your lender to ease your financial burden especially during such trying times. However, do take note of the implications that may ensue.
For more financial advice, contact the Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) for more assistance. They can help you in handling your loans as well as address problems with debt
You may contact them via their website, drop them an email or call their hotline (6225 5227).
If you need more financial resilience resources, you can refer here.
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY ON PEXELS
Want to avoid the crowd outside but unsure what you can do at home? Hop on to Cr8studiosg to watch chat shows, stand-up comedy and music performances! Or visit MehGoWhere.SG for more resources or things to do!