COVID-19 has led many Filipinos to cancel their travel plans this year. Many people have to deal with all kinds of inconveniences brought about their jobs, plus the hassle of setting up the kids’ online classes in their families. As if that weren’t enough, many families had to make difficult financial decisions to make ends meet.
Yes, this pandemic changed a lot of Filipino’s financial views and behaviors. Many parents and breadwinners had to take a closer look at their budgeting and spending habits.
Like one of my most recent clients has said, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that happened served as a wake-up call for his family to reevaluate their finances.
Get comfortable talking about financial matters with your family.
When you are the breadwinner (or one of your family’s breadwinners), you should be able to discuss financial matters around the dinner table.
Discussions should not only revolve around current health issues and concerns about politics.
Be confident to talk about your current financial status, emergency savings, and life insurance coverage. Do this to reassure your dependents and ask for their help if you need to tighten the belt.
Change financial habits.
When families discuss their finances, expect everyone’s behavior to change.
I see some friends making an effort to cut excess spending to rebuild their savings and emergency fund.
If you have loans, focus on paying off your debts.
When your income seems unaffected, consider purchasing a comprehensive life insurance plan and allocating a portion of your income in trusted investment vehicles. Build your retirement fund as early as now.
It is not going to be easy, but you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Talking about your finances and changing your behavior towards it will bring dramatic changes in your life.
Some people are not open with their parents and partners about their finances — but are forced to speak up.
Some couples want to spare the kids from the sacrifices they needed to make but needed to cut expenses.
Some families are hesitant to talk about inheritance and wills, despite the need to discuss these things.
Talking about your financial status today is more critical than ever.