Budgeting Amid Coronavirus: Tips And Hacks

    As the world is gradually edging towards normality, along with the reopening of businesses, people are worried about how uncertain the future seems. Entire nations are struggling to stay afloat, with people feeling disillusioned about handling finances.

    While the future is unpredictable, it’s futile to worry about things out of human control. Instead, we can focus on the present and attempt to make the best out of it. Even in the face of uncertainty, we can choose to make smart choices when it comes to handling finances.

    Bolster Emergency Fund Relief

    Beyond the shadow of a doubt, we are gradually heading towards an economic recession. Smaller businesses have been already impacted, and now, huge conglomerates are also implementing pay cuts and laying off thousands. We understand that this can be anxiety-inducing – however, if you have a steady job for now, the smartest move you can make is bolstering your emergency fund as much as possible.

    Financial adversities may crop out of nowhere, and if you do not have any savings to fall back on, you might have to resort to quick loan apps during this scenario. Hence, it is important to have an emergency fund in place.

    Open a savings account online and deposit an initial amount into that account. Now, all you have to do is set up an automatic weekly transfer – the amount can be as small as Rs.1000. Trust us, this will make a difference eventually in the long run.

    Pause Non-Essential Services

    Most of us are pondering, what parts of normal are worth returning to? While this is highly subjective, try and tailor your service choices as per your financial situation. 

    While it is true that most of us had to part with our favourite pastimes over the last 2-3 odd months, be it social gatherings, eating out, or simply going out for a run, these sacrifices have not gone in vain, as this pandemic has highlighted the magic of everyday life – something so many of us take for granted.

    While choosing which services to resume, do not cut everything out, especially if some of these things grant you solace and happiness. Choose one good routine to return to, and stick to it. Once you decide what it is, budget accordingly.

    Balance At-Home Cooking and Take-Outs

    This might sound juvenile, but food constitutes a significant chunk of our budget expenditure, which becomes excessive if one chooses to eat out every day [at least 2 times a day]. Yes, we understand that cooking isn’t for everyone, and there might be n number of constraints that discourage you from cooking [lack of space, lack of fresh produce, scarcity of time, and so on]. However, try and balance at-home cooking with take-outs, as this will even out the status quo and allow you to save a significant amount of money.

    Try new recipes over the weekend and feed your loved ones: this way, you will be more confident in preparing meals. However, it’s okay to order-in 1-2 times a week, be it on a movie night, where you’re craving a pepperoni pizza, or while you’re caught up in work, where you order in a bowl of rice and vegetables. Even when ordering, search for lower-priced alternatives, along with options that are relatively healthy.

    Clear High-Interest Debt

    Make this a priority once you have an emergency fund in place and all your outstanding credit bills are up-to-date. When high-interest debts are left to minimum payments, they add up over time and evolve into a gigantic debt amount. You can wait out on lower-interest debts for a while, but as the best online loan apps recommend, clear out high-interest debt first.

    The best approach here is to make a minimum payment on all your debt. Apart from this, try and take advantage of credit card offers that allow you to transfer balances at 0% interest. This will allow you to balance off of a high-interest credit card and put it on a new card with 0% interest.

    While the future is filled with risks, it is also rife with opportunities. Whatever lessons we are being faced with right now, can be applied in the near future. Smart budgeting can help you stay afloat for some time, which is a safer bet than being unprepared for the worst. Good luck, and we hope you emerge out of this stronger and happier.

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