After several months of a quarantine curfew that kept on extending, it finally seems like the worst is behind us. As the country slowly but surely returns to normal, it’s now time to deal with all the aspects of our lives that were kept on hold as we stayed indoors, adhering to government rules. These might range from missed car maintenance and household renovations to unpaid utility bills and debt repayment, even to just overdue social meetups with family and multiple friend circles. Now that life has to be restarted with quite a bit of catching up to do, what all this means is that it’s going to cost you a lot of money in order to manage all these activities within a short period of time. Critical vehicle maintenance and household maintenance alone might cost you close to a hundred thousand rupees. Even the most financially-comfortable of us might find it difficult to dole out such a large sum of money in the course of just a few weeks or months.
Getting back on your feet
What you must keep in mind is that adjusting to the lifting of the quarantine curfew will take time, not just financially but also psychologically and physically. Not only will you face a few financial hiccups, but your body and mind will also need some time to get back to doing things the way they used to be. You need to allow yourself some patience and time to get back on your feet.
Here are some ways you can ease the financial burden on yourself as you adjust to post-quarantine life:
1. Get Organised
You are surely going to be faced with a sudden influx of expenses, ranging from critical to unimportant but unavoidable. Managing all of this with the same level of income will be tricky. The first thing you need to do is to understand the extent of all your commitments; make a list of everything that you would need to spend money on, and just how much money you would need for each. This list could look something like:
- Car service and/or other repairs
- Household repairs and/or renovation
- Social meetups with various friend groups e.g. work colleagues, ex-work colleagues,
- Medical checkups or dental work
- Back-to-work expenses
- Back-to-school expenses for the kids
- Overdue debt repayments
Once you’ve made this list, list down how much money you would need to set aside for each.
Now, prioritise the items of the list in terms of urgency and importance. It might seem like all these probably-overdue activities are very urgent and important, but if you take a closer look at them, you might be able to allocate time and money accordingly.
Urgent and Important
These activities are the highest priority and should be done immediately.
Urgent but Unimportant
These activities should be attended to as soon as possible, but try your best to do these at the lowest cost possible.
Important but Not Urgent
Try to push these to the next month in order to lessen the financial burden on yourself but make sure you started setting aside some money so that these activities do not get overlooked.
Unimportant and Not Urgent
These activities have the lowest priority. If you can, try to avoid these altogether or push them back to a time period where your expenses are as low as possible.
Don’t forget to keep in mind that you still need to manage the rest of your monthly living expenses while covering the urgent and important expenses; so no amount of planning will completely eliminate this financial burden from you.
2. Allocate Money
While it might be easy enough to make a plan for how and where we should spend our money, setting aside the funds to do the actual spending is going to be the hard part. While you might feel compelled to splurge and live your life freely now that quarantine curfew is over, the reality is that you might need to tighten your belts even more for a few weeks to manage the bulk of the outstanding payments. Once you have identified how much money you would need to collect, here are some ways you could manage to gather that:
Cancel Subscriptions for a Few Months
Most of us likely have at least 1-2 monthly subscriptions going through - be it Spotify, Google Drive, Apple Music, iCloud, Netflix etc. If you are able to cancel some of these for just a few months (without losing a lot of data), you might end up saving several thousands of rupees, especially considering that the Dollar-Rupee exchange rate is extremely high nowadays.
Quick Instant Loans
With the widespread availability of taking money loans online, sometimes a quick instant loan might end up being the solution to all your problems. If you are able to get a loan fast, you can settle all your expenses in one go and settle your loan over the course of the repayment period. This would greatly lessen your financial burden while enduring that none of your expenses gets delayed due to lack of money.
Note: if you are thinking “where can I get a loan online?”, look no further: OnCredit.lk offers unbelievably convenient online loan services at the most competitive rates.
Stop Paying for Convenience
While you might not realise it, you are probably spending a lot of money for convenience. Lazy to cook? Order in. Lazy to walk? Take a cab. Lazy to drive to the store? Pay an extra three hundred rupees to get your goods delivered. Similarly, there are probably so many other ways we spend our money just for our convenience. While this is completely okay during normal times, it might be prudent to eliminate these when you are trying to save money.
The ending of the quarantine curfew need not be daunting and something to dread. It is a time that you should use to enjoy the freedoms and liberties you have been deprived of during the last few months (while adhering to all health and safety regulations). With a little bit of planning and discipline, you will be able to manage all your expenses all the while living your best life.