Covid-19 has affected virtually every sector in Kenya and around the world. Businesses have shut down. People have lost jobs en masse. Children are out of school. Savings are running out like the morning dew when the rays from the sun come hitting the ground.
According to KEPSA, at least four million Kenyans will lose their jobs as a result of Covid-19. Given that this is just an estimation, chances are that more than the quoted four million have already lost their jobs. The International Labor Organization estimates that at least 25 million people will lose their jobs as a result of Covid-19.
Everyone is calling Covid-19 as the “new normal” but very few are talking about how to adapt and sail through the “new normal.” Given that scientists say that the vaccine might come out at least 18 months from now, expecting it to come out sooner will be wishful thinking. Even if it does, it will take ages for it to come to Africa.
What financial strategies can you put in place during this time to sail through Covid-19?
You need to stay safe. Any kind of illness coming your way or to your family will strain your finances. Avoid illness that can be avoided as much as possible. Most importantly, avoid Covid-19. Put on a mask while in public, wash your hands, use sanitizers, and avoid unnecessary travels here and there.
Have a plan
If you are not planning to succeed, then you are planning to fail. Have a financial plan with you. Simply, have a budget. Budget for everything you plan to buy. This is not the time for emotional buying. This is not time to buy to impress. This is time to survive and fighting to see the next day. Have a budget and stick to it.
Do not rush to withdraw your savings
Many people have already depleted their savings. Do not be too quick to fall back to your savings. Leave them for a more rainy day. More dark days are coming and you will need those savings. For now, use the little you have and act as though the savings are not there.
Avoid lending to relatives and friends
It is true that many people do not have money at the moment. It is also true that people are surviving through borrowing money from family and friends. But, if you are the one giving out money, ask yourself if they would do the same if you were in their shoes? As they borrow, how sure are you that they will return the same with things getting tough everywhere?
It is time to get mean to secure your future. Sahi kila mtu apambane na hali yake. The only people you can help for now are your parents, brothers, and sister. That is your blood and damu ni nzito kuliko maji but for others, be careful.
Invest the little you have
Many people think that this is not the time to invest. Actually, it is. According to Cytonn Investments, investing in Money Market Funds is the best financial vehicles to hide the little you have right now.
In fact, Cytonn has a Cytonn Money Market Fund (CMMF) that gives up to 11 percent of interest per year. What is more, you can invest as little as 1,000 shillings with subsequent top-ups at your own convenient time.
Explain to your family the situation
Sometimes those you expect to understand you might not, especially if they are used to a different kind of life. Be patient to them and explain to them how tough the situation is. Do not continue depleting the little you have because you want to maintain a certain way of living. Soon the smoke will be out and people will know.
NOTE: The above plans are from my point of view. Everyone has ways of saving money. Add them to the comments below or write them for us to learn and see. Above all, be safe. We need you tomorrow.