The Covid-19 pandemic has hit everyone really hard. Like a hard restart, the world order was plunged into chaos. Many people got sick and died while others lost their jobs and business. Making ends meet during this pandemic is a really challenging responsibility for the head of the family. How are our families going to survive this year?
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Hard Times: Losing Livelihood
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent.
In May 2020, reports showed that more or less 30 million people from the United States had lost their jobs due to pandemic.
Moreover, 30% of the 10 million Americans categorized as temporarily unemployed may never get their job back. This is a really sad predicament.
Many People are Becoming Unemployed
A jaw-dropping 1.6 billion people on the margins of the world economy are in immediate danger of losing their livelihood.
Migrant workers and those employed in the gig economy are far from certain that their jobs will reappear even when the crisis is over. Sadly, they make up half of the world’s workforce.
This is how this pandemic is affecting the global economy and the lives of many people in general. Many governments are doing their best to help people with their finances but the fact still remains.
In the Philippines, government aid is called Social Amelioration Program. This had been given to DSWD-approved identified families all over the country.
But let’s face it. It’s hard to resume having a normal life during or even after this pandemic. Moreover, managing our finances became even harder during these uncertain times.
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Family Budget: Making Ends Meet
It’s really hard nowadays to make ends meet due to the COVID19 pandemic. New opportunities may be coming in but they are either too few or the offer is lower than before.
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So many people are taking a hit, because living through this pandemic isn’t just a health crisis.
People continue to make a living while waiting for stimulus money or unemployment benefits. Still, trying to make ends meet seems like a daily challenge.
So here are some ways that you can stretch your money in order to pay your bills and keep food on the table.
This pandemic has changed the way we budget in so many ways. To get back on track, you have to cancel something such as unnecessary subscriptions and memberships. Some examples are streaming services, meal subscriptions, and gym or fitness memberships.
You can even change your eating habits, like skip take-outs or dine-ins. Also, you can also grow your own food from your backyard.
Or make new recipes with ingredients you already have in the pantry.
Review your savings
Savings or emergency fund allows you to live for a few months if you lose your job or if something unexpected comes up.
You should aim to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This should be spread out in at least two savings accounts.
Keep a part of it in an account tied to your primary bank for immediate access, with the rest in a high-yield savings account. This way, you can stay out of debt and you can even take advantage of financial opportunities.
Do you have specific savings goal you want to achieve within a specific timespan? Check out this online savings calculator, to can see how much you would need to set aside today in order to cover the expenses.
Even if you are out of work due to the pandemic, that doesn’t mean that the bills have stopped coming in.
Your first priority should be paying the housing loan. Put housing and related bills at the top of your list as they are the largest and most important expense.
You need a safe place to live and failing to pay your rent or mortgage could result in foreclosure of your property or eviction from the unit.
Utilities and car payments fall under medium priority. After paying for your rent or mortgage, the next thing to do is to make sure you stay up to date with your utility bills. This includes water, sewer, electricity, and gas.
- Related: Be Debt-Free in This Pandemic
Don’t fall behind on your utility bills because it will put you at risk of accruing fees. It could also mean that you won’t qualify for energy assistance programs and could even result in having your utilities disconnected or shut off.
Resilient Pinay Moms
Covid-19 has spared no one. We can only continue living in the normal.
Meanwhile, here are stories of resilient Pinay moms during the pandemic.
- A mountaineer, adventurer, and artist lost her islands souvenir business when borders were closed due to the pandemic. She shifted gears and now The Farmtory is Surviving the Lockdown With Tauge
- During the Covid-19 lockdown, two moms wanted to start a business and also stay healthy. Read: Bacolod Mompreneurs Distribute the M2 Health Drink in NIR
- When their summer travel plans were cancelled, two Bacolod moms helped each other with barter. Then they built a house. Read their heartwarming story: Mommy Power: The House that Barter Built
- One mommy lawyer needed some stuff during the lockdown. So she started the Bacolod Barter Community in order to exchange stuff with other people without spending money. Read about How a Bacolod Mom Changed the Philippines with Barter
- Giving up her career as an accountant in order to take her of her son, here’s Mommy Cleth and her Homemade Kare-Kare with Love