How is your financial health during COVID-19?

04Jun 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
How is your financial health during COVID-19?

As we continue our battle against COVID-19 pandemic, our health and wellbeing is a top priority. Wearing of masks and frequent hygiene practices have become the world’s new norm of life in combating COVID-19.

It’s great to note we are keeping our physical well-being in check. The question is – how is your financial health during COVID-19 pandemic? What measures are you putting in place to protect your financial health?

We would like to equip you with some tips that will help you maintain a good financial health condition during COVID-19 pandemic as presented below:

Set budgets

By setting budgets, you determine what is important to spend on, how much you can afford to spend on a product and how much you are willing to part with to stay in control of your finances.

You can start by writing down any last paychecks due to you or savings you may have and then list your monthly bills. It also helps you spot any potential opportunities to save. Come back to this budget at least every week, to track how are doing against your plan, to identify where you might have spent beyond your budget and make any changes as necessary.

Prioritize

Prioritize your purchases. Prioritize your bills on the most important needs to keep you safe such as housing, food, utilities and needs. Write down the minimum payment and when its due for payment. Analyzing and differentiating between your needs and wants is essential when trying to save money and during this period. Take stock of what you have at home before you decide to make purchases. Reduce your spending to only what you need. If you spend less on the needs, you can use the money saved for the wants.

Spot offers

It’s good practice to first do your homework and find out the prevailing market prices especially for large purchase items. Search for discounts and offers made by various outlets as well as benefits offered by financial institutions for example, getting discounts of up to 20% in some instances when you swipe your bank card when shopping or at various restaurants instead of paying cash. Spending a little time looking around for the best deals can help you save substantial amounts of money which takes the pressure off your finances.

Let your creditors know about your financial situation

During this unprecedented period of COVID-19, it is important to inform your creditor about your financial situation as hard as it is to think about. It is highly recommended that your reach out to your creditors before you your next scheduled payment window so that that they know your debt repayment plans and know that you are tracking your debt payment.

Up-skill yourself

Use time efficiently to up-skill yourself on different subject matters. Utilize online learning resources, journals, books and various educative materials to further your knowledge. The more knowledge you acquire, will help you increase your efficiency at work, get better jobs and ultimately increase chances of earning more income.

Be cautious of fraud

During this period, Fraudsters may seek donations or make offers that don’t exist regarding medical treatments or products to beat the virus.Fraudsters will try to reach you by any means including social media, email, calls or SMS.

Take note of further tips: Never reveal personal information, your Personal Identification Number(PIN), password or account number to strangers; Do not download anti-virus or software updates sent via email or SMS; and Ignore suspicious calls and emails about contests or offers that require personal information or payment to receive a prize. We hope that the shared tips will support your financial health in order to achieve your financial freedom.

NB:

Mariam Sezinga is Manager for Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Limited.