With Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement extending the COVID-19 lockdown, taking the total lockdown period to 5-weeks, many of us are worried about work, our jobs, and the financial implications thereof. The world has never seen anything quite like this before and there is no history to draw from telling us what the outcome will be. Yet despite these uncertain times, history does prove that we are capable of adapting and showing strength in times of adversity. Despite the many things we can’t control, there are still things we can. In this article, I will outline a few ways in which you can better your chances of surviving this financial crisis.
1. Become an Asset
Whilst this may not seem like an obvious financial tip, it kind of is. Financial advisors say it over and over again that your biggest asset is your ability to earn an income. In times like this when job security is potentially a huge issue, you need to ask yourself the question, how valuable are you? Think about it this way, if you and your coworkers were playing a game of survivor right now, who would be the first to get kicked off the island? Is it the people who can fish, collect food or make shelter, or the people who are injured, sick or make excuses not to do anything? I think you know the answer. The people who survive are the people who offer a diverse range of skills. They are the people who put up their hand before being called upon to do something. They are the people who offer solutions to problems and pull their weight in a team. My point in all of this is that when businesses are forced to switch to survival mode, only the strongest survive, so make sure you are one of them. And if you have been ‘getting by’ after all these years and doing the bare minimum, it’s time you changed your mindset. There are plenty of free courses online on various different topics so you really have no excuse. The more you learn, the more valuable you become and the more likely you are to survive in times like these.
2. Reassess your Financial Situation
Many of us delay looking in-depth into our finances because we are ‘too busy’. But, with the lockdown forcing us all to stay home, there is no reason you can’t spare a few minutes in your day to get your finances in order. If you are someone whose job is on the line, or whose income is dependant on seeing people, then you may need to make a few changes to your financial plan in order to survive. Now is the perfect time to take out your bank statement to have a look at what you are spending your money on, and where you can cut back. If you need any help with budgeting or advice on how to start then get in touch with me and I will gladly assist you.
3. Take Advantage of COVID-19 Relief Options
You may have heard that there are COVID-19 relief options being offered by many banks and insurance houses. With the lockdown putting huge financial pressure on many businesses and working South Africans, banks and other financial institutions are at risk of a large % of people canceling their policies and defaulting on their loans. To combat this potential catastrophe, these companies are allowing you to ‘take a break’ from paying your premiums for a specified period to relieve some of the financial pressure put on you as a result of COVID-19. If you are feeling the financial pinch of the lockdown then I implore you to do your research and see what options are made available to you by your bank and insurers. Some of the payment holidays you want to look out for are on home loans, investments, loans, and retirement savings, so be sure to take advantage of them if you need to. If you need any help with where to start or what the process is for requesting a payment holiday, then get in touch with me and I will gladly assist you.
4. Shed the Deadweight
I think that COVID-19 has forced many of us to re-evaluate what we deem a necessity and what we deem a luxury. Now is the time to put your pride in your pocket, make the effort to analyse your bank statement, and eliminate any unnecessary expenses you may have. A good place to start is by checking all your monthly debit orders and ensuring that you are getting the value you pay for. There are many people who choose to do business with insurers based on their ‘benefits’ or because they market themselves well, but what they may not realise is the premiums they pay are not always the best value for money. If you would like quotes on your life cover or even short-term insurance to see if we can offer you better premiums for the SAME or BETTER VALUE then get in touch with me.
5. Become more Finacially-Savvy
Ok, enough is enough now. I don’t want to hear any more excuses, it’s time that you start understanding your money and improve your financial literacy so that if something like this happens again, you don’t even need to blink an eye because you know you can weather the storm. We will be offering a FREE course on Personal financial management in the next week so be on the lookout for that. Why? Because successful people are successful in life because they understand wealth and money! That’s why some people who have acquired large quantities of cashola (i.e. lotto winners, celebrities, sports stars) and DON’T understand money, go broke. Check out the article https://www.smbfinance.co.za/what-would-you-do-if-you-won-the-lotto/ for a little more insight into this concept.
Times are tough right now and there is no escaping it. Now is a time to be proactive and look within. You need to use this time to analyse your situation and set yourself up for long-term success. The adage ‘diamonds are formed under pressure’ could not be any more relevant to the times we are facing right now. So, go on, embrace the pressure and form your diamond. And remember, the more you learn, the more valuable you become.