As Africa braces for the full impact of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, which has already made a big impact on far more wealthy countries than our own, many households will be gearing up for some hard months to come financially.
With many affected countries going into lockdown, and most encouraging social distancing, small business owners and those who cannot afford to be off work due to illness, as well as the many who live from payday to payday or earn low wages, will be the ones hardest hit. However, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and your household to better face the tough times to come.
Below are three ways you can prepare your finances to help your family cope during the coronavirus pandemic.
Automate Your Finances
If you haven’t done so already, this is the perfect time to look into automating your monthly banking activities as much as possible. Aside from online banking saving you time in terms of waiting in long bank lines, enrolling in automatic payments also ensures that you don’t forget to pay your bills while you are busy stressing about other, more important aspects of your life. In addition, paying digitally means you are reducing your own human interaction and thus minimising your risk of getting sick.
Be Wary of Scams and Price Gouging
While many of us are busy worrying about how the coronavirus is going to affect our families, there are some people out who are already looking at the financial benefits of such a situation. Internationally, companies like Amazon and eBay are under investigation amid concerns of price gouging (inflated prices on goods perceived to be in high demand e.g. hand sanitiser). Unfortunately, there is little that people on the ground can do to avoid similar situations in their hometowns except recognise a scam or hugely inflated cost when they see it and avoid purchasing from the shop responsible.
Explore the Potential of Short-Term Loans
While going into debt is something you should always seriously consider, the reality is that many people may need to resort to taking out a short-term loan should someone in their family fall ill. Luckily, applying for a short-term loan is faster than it has ever been, thanks to digital lending.
According to a study released in 2018 by the FSD Kenya, 27% of Kenyan adults are digital borrowers and, of those people, 7% of borrowers used that money for medical emergencies. So, should you find yourself in a situation where you need some extra money for an unexpected bill, be sure to do your research and find the best short term loans on offer from lenders like LoanPig to ensure your family is covered.
While there is a lot to worry about during this period, there are ways you can prepare yourself in order to manage the situation, and having a financial plan in place before things get too bad is a great way to alleviate some of the stress that this pandemic is sure to bring.