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Coronavirus Has Taught Us Some Vital Lessons In Finance

EDITOR, The Tribune

Businesses are closing, jobs are disappearing, and the global economy is shrinking. The coronavirus has had a negative effect on so many lives and so many wallets. Many of us have questions we need answered:

· Is this the beginning of a global recession, similar to the one experienced in 2008?

· How long will it take for the global economy to recover?

When it comes to surviving this financial crisis, the focus should be on situations that you can control rather than stressing over things that you can’t. Throughout this unprecedented time, your health should be a top priority, nonetheless, maintaining your financial health during this tumultuous period is also critically important. To deal with these difficult times, here are a few strategies that you and your family can implement to gain control of your money.

ACCESS YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL STATUS

When was the last time you visited your personal physician? I hope that the answer is within at least a year period. However, when you went to your physician, you were probably getting an annual physical and through this process of an annual physical, the physician assessed your health. Well, the next question that I will ask is “When was the last time you assess your financial health?” It is important to note that your financial health can make or break you, especially during a time of uncertainty in the global economy.

By doing a financial “check-up” we are then able to determine what adjustments we need to make in our lives, from the amount we should be saving to the amount of expenses that we should be cutting back. Being aware is key.

CREATE A BUDGET

When it comes to your personal finances it’s best not to take much risk. You must be able to visualize and understand what are your expenses and how are you able to cover them while putting some income into savings.

· Write it down.

· Calculate your expenses.

· Determine your income.

· Set your savings and debt payoff goals.

Creating a budget will help you to keep your “eyes on the prize” as it assists you with figuring out your long-term goals and working towards them. Before creating a budget, identify your short and long term goals, write them down if you have to. Studies have shown that if you write down your goals you will have a greater chance of achieving them.

PREPARE TO CUTBACK ON NON-ESSENTIALS

Did you really need to purchase those concert tickets? When it pertains to lifestyle essentials, vacation, movies, restaurant visits, and spa treatments all come to mind. Those expenses sure do add up over the course of a month and can put a massive dent into your budget. By limiting yourself to focus on essential spending, it is possible to save a considerable amount of money each month. In order to do so, you must become mindful of your spending activity:

  1. Write down your non-essentials with the associated cost.

  2. Write down your essentials.

  3. Remove the items that you cannot live without (essentials).

  4. Whatever items are left, add them up.

You might be amazed of how frugal or non-frugal you are.

If you fall into the category of non-frugal, try using a “Value-Based Spending Method”. When you spend your money based on values, you feel better about what you purchase, after you have purchased it. Spending on your values will ensure that you use your money as a tool to achieve happiness. That being said, each of us are unique beings, and our values make up who we are and in turn, it dictates how we spend our time and our money.

In conclusion, the coronavirus has humbled and taught us some financial lessons that we preferred not to have learned, at least not now. But as we inch closer and closer to the “new” normal, perhaps the silver lining is, if we follow these simple steps during a time like this, we will be well-prepared to implement these strategies with a breeze in the new era of the new normal.

‘GET IN CONTROL OF YOUR MONEY TODAY!’

Nival Miller

Accounting Student at The University of the West Indies

Progressive Young Liberal Member

Comments

truetruebahamian 1 week, 2 days ago

Guidelines that should be understood and followed. I'm sure that there are other personally indvidual expenses that can be added and a mindset to not buy what you don't need

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Porcupine 1 week, 2 days ago

A young accounting student may not know much more than they are taught in school. Reading what is required, mentored by those who have shown the ability to please their teachers. While these things are important, it is with a necessary naivete that one could address the need for personal responsibility, yet ignore, or be unaware of the structural issues at hand. Youth has its advantages, but wisdom and extended learning are not part of those advantages. The challenge is to confront a system that would have a hard working, honest and dedicated person still not make a living wage. While personal responsibility is a must, the global figures on poverty, homelessness and starvation indicate that there is much much more to the problem. If one is a so-called Christian, and still refuses to confront these issues they are not really Christian, are they? Further, to ignore the neo liberal Capitalist agenda, or being uneducated on it, is to valuer education for the job training premise alone. A true education, which is not taught in universities, has to do with the history of oppression which is advancing as we speak. If we stop at the cruelties of slavery, without intellectually examining the slavery we all now confront, we have not gained a bit in our so-called education. Nival, while your heart may be in the right place, the forces against you in becoming a true revolutionary leader are real and strong. Few escape those shackles. Few of us indeed. I would suggest going to Youtube and watching every Martin Luther King Jr. speech you can find. And, then the related ones. You will then realize that we are all part of a society that cares little about people, and everything about greed, death and oppression of all kinds. Look around you. Where are our MLKs today? Now ask why.

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Porcupine 1 week, 1 day ago

It should be "assess" your finances. I think everyone can access their finances.

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