The ongoing community quarantine in the country has left many people struggling to manage their finances. It’s either they lost their jobs or have experienced massive pay-cuts. Though we understand the need for lockdowns and that health is the obvious priority, Filipinos who are living paycheck-to-paycheck are experiencing a heavy financial strain. The situation might be even harder for those with an irregular source of income.
Though the government is easing lockdown restrictions and have been gradually allowing businesses to reopen, no one knows how long this pandemic will last. With the economic uncertainty, it’s normal to get anxious about your finances. But don’t fret so much as there are still ways to keep your money in order amid the pandemic. (Read: Here’s How You Can Help Jeepney Drivers Affected by the Lockdown)
Read on for five tips from My Pope Philippines on how to manage your finances!
Track down your expenses.
Yes, you’ve heard of this before. And it is for a good reason that it is being repeated now: listing down your expenses will give you a clearer picture of how you spend your money. You might be spending a lot on things you don’t really need. By tracking down all your expenses, you can decide if you can live without certain things or if you could go to a much cheaper alternative. (Read: Knowing Your Money Personality Can Lead to More Money in the Bank!)
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
If you can’t live without Netflix, that’s perfectly fine. But look into your subscriptions and see if you are being billed by apps you forgot you subscribed to or that you don’t use anymore. Don’t be fooled by free trials—or if you’re going to avail, make sure you will cancel the subscription before the trial is up to avoid being charged. Another thing to think about canceling is your gym membership. Ask whether you could freeze your membership while the gyms are still closed, if not, then consider cutting ties with them and just exercise at home.
Cut back on luho items.
While we understand that you miss the taste of samgyupsal, or that you long to go to the movies again, let us remind you that there is still a disease that can infect you or your loved ones. Instead of splurging on your venti caramel latte through delivery apps, or ordering in every day, why don’t you make use of the time at home to learn how to cook and try out new recipes. Cooking is a practical life skill that is a top money-saver and healthy, after all. (ICYMI: These websites offer thousands of online cooking classes!)
Build an emergency fund.
Now that you’ve mostly cut back on your spending, it’s time to think of a financial fallback. With the workplace closures and massive layoffs happening, this is the perfect time to save up for emergencies. Start with the income you have now and whatever you have saved up. Avoid risks for the meantime and learn how to strategize your spending—prioritize the essential bills and save some to help cover the next month’s expenses in case something untoward happens.
Find other sources of income.
Because of the paycuts, it’s practical to supplement the lost income. One way is to start selling some of your pre-loved items. Throw your hoarder tendencies out the window and check your closet for clothes or other stuff that you are not using anymore but are still in good condition. You can post them on your social media accounts or in buy-and-sell websites. You can also take up sideline such as online job opportunities which you can do during the weekends. (Read: Don’t know what to do with your old clothes? Bring them to these four establishments!)