A Moment With Mitul: Managing Your Personal Finances Through COVID-19
Even as the Movement Control Order (MCO) comes to an end in Malaysia, COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact, not just on people’s health but also on their financial well-being given the severe impact on employers, employees and the self-employed. The daily stream of news regarding companies downsizing, employees being asked to take unpaid leave, pay cuts or reduced working hours and diminishing opportunities for the self-employed, requires us all to review our own personal financial priorities and goals.
Whilst nobody can foresee the economic impact COVID-19 may have on each of our bank accounts, there are some practical and simple steps we can take to manage our finances through this pressing time:
- Keep tabs on financial aid and assistance available, should you need it: Most governments and industries have announced initiatives to help us weather through this pressing time. If you need more information on what financial assistance programmes are available in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines, how to apply for it, please refer to our guides on iMoney Learning Centre:
- General budgeting tips: The COVID-19 affects everyone’s finances, whether you’re earning RM2,000 a month or RM10,000 a month. To survive financially, you need to review your financial contingency plan. Here are some tips:
- Immediately, cut out non-essential expenses to make your money go a longer way
- Review all other essential expenses and set yourself a goal to reduce each expense by a certain percentage
- Take advantage of all the offers, discounts, free periods, etc. available to help reduce your daily costs
- Put aside whatever you can into building and growing your emergency fund
- If you have money to spare, you can contribute to the frontliners through organisations like Mercy Malaysia and World Vision Malaysia, while platforms like #Kitajagakita offers resources for those who want to volunteer or offer financial help.
- Get on top of your debts: Speak to your banks to negotiate and restructure any loans or credit card balances you have if you foresee any issues in payment in the immediate future.
Bank Negara Malaysia has announced an automatic moratorium on all loan or financing payments for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) borrowers for six months. Other countries also have their own moratorium being offered. More details can be found in the iMoney COVID-19 guide for respective countries.
- Stay tuned to latest news that may affect your personal finances: Government and industry led financial assistance programmes aside, keeping abreast with news, from reliable and verified sources, will also help you stay updated with respect to other personal finance matters whether it be budgeting, savings, investments, protection, etc.
For more updates on COVID-19 and financial tips on how to ride through this bumpy journey, check out our COVID-19 guide on iMoney Learning Centre.
Do you have other COVID-19 personal finance survival tips?