To this day, we are still facing the challenges of responding to the COVID-19 crisis which has caused widespread concern, fear and stress, all of which are natural reactions to the uncertain situation that we find ourselves in. Because of this, a lot of us have understandably increased precautionary saving, delayed purchases and became more reluctant to make risky investments.
Investing money in general is far from everyone’s concern right now as COVID-19 cases increase day by day. But we have to remember that this pandemic will end soon and that means we have to be ready for our future. And being future ready here means planning financially with saving and investing as top of mind.
Have you asked yourself what this pandemic has taught you? Have you been conscious of how you spend lately? Have you checked the different investment options available in the market?
In this time of crisis, one thing’s for sure. We all realized that we have not saved or invested enough. And we should take this as an opportunity to change our habits and adjust our lifestyles.
On saving money
When it comes to money, the pandemic has caused financial distress. A lot of people lost their jobs, closed their businesses and spent their savings to keep up with their finances. If you are one of those whose income has been uninterrupted, lucky you! But don’t be complacent, take the chance to save what you have and start planning for your financial future.
Here are some tips to be able to save more and spend wisely:
- Save more and spend less. Prioritize the things to spend on and just focus on the essentials.
- Track your finances. You have to understand where your money is going and start looking for opportunities where it could be better spent.
- Avoid impulsive buying. Before purchasing something, think about how it will affect you in the future. Give yourself at least 24 hours to decide if buying something is a need or just a want.
- Look at your habits that may be draining your budget. Figure out which habits and lifestyles may be eating up your budget. These could include expensive hobbies, too much dining in fancy restaurants, splurging on clothes, among others. Eliminate the unnecessary and adjust your lifestyle.
- Stop impressing other people. They say that the average person spends far too much money merely trying to maintain an image and impress other people. Figure out what makes you truly happy. Focus on that and not on pleasing other people.
- Start and build up an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a source of ready cash in case of unexpected expenses. This should contain enough money to cover between three and six months’ worth of expenses according to most financial planners.
On investing money
Aside from saving money, the pandemic has also taught us to put our savings towards things that will help us reach our financial goals.
It doesn’t matter how much you invest but you have to keep in mind that the sooner you start investing, the more you can benefit from it. Putting your money into quality companies that will grow in value as time goes on is always a wise use of your income.
While this pandemic has made people become extra cautious in investing, we can see that more and more of us are exploring different ways to invest and take additional steps to be able to secure our future.
We have seen the stock market fall sharply at the start of the crisis. Some see this as an opportunity to buy stocks or engage in trading. Others who prefer a more stable type of investment buy properties instead, which they can eventually turn into business or sell at a higher price.
With the number of online listings, good deals and more sellers who are disposing their properties, now may really be the best time for you to start thinking about property investment.
Here are some opportunities you can take advantage of if you are looking into property investing:
- There are plenty of options in the market – You have a lot of choices to choose from. Depending on your purpose for property investing, you can either buy a ready for occupancy unit which you can immediately use or a pre-selling unit which may have not yet been built or is still under construction that you can consider for rental business. If you want to further understand the difference between the two and which is the right one for you, you may check out our previous blog (link)
- You can negotiate better prices – With a lot of property owners re-allocating their budget during this pandemic, they are more than willing to lower the price or sell their property below the current market value.
- Flexible payment terms, freebies and discounts – As the coronavirus hit rentals and increased vacancy across various real estate formats, property developers are seeking ways to entice consumers to buy properties with various freebies and discounts. They are now offering lower and longer payment terms, additional discounts, waiver of reservation fees to even offering free appliances.
“Every downturn in history has ended in an upturn” – Noah Kerner
We probably know the lessons of saving and investing but the pandemic has brought them out again in sharp relief, as if telling us to be smart enough to remember them and most importantly, to take them seriously.
The reason that the economy has dropped so sharply is because of this pandemic but sooner or later we will all go back to the beginning of the market. You just have to stay focused on the long term. You have to stay patient and be optimistic that everything will be alright.
So make the most of the opportunities that come your way. Explore new ways to earn extra money. Save money and spend wisely. Invest regularly. Take all the lessons you’ve learned from this pandemic as an opportunity to better yourself. To be financially secure and be future ready.