Even as the Movement Control Order (MCO) ends in Malaysia, COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact, not only on people’s health, but also on their financial well-being, given the serious impact on employers, employees and the self-employed. The daily stream of news about downsizing companies, with employees being asked to take unpaid time off, reduced wages or reduced work hours and reduced opportunities for the self-employed, forces us all to review our own personal financial goals and priorities.
While no one can predict the economic impact COVID-19 could have on each of our bank accounts, there are a few practical and simple steps we can take to manage our finances during this pressing period:
- Keep an eye out for help and financial assistance available, if you need it: most governments and industries have announced initiatives to help us get through this pressing period. If you need more information about the financial aid programs available in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, how to apply, please see our guides on iMoney Learning Center:
- General budget advice: COVID-19 affects everyone’s finances, whether you earn RM2,000 per month or RM10,000 per month. To survive financially, you must review your financial emergency plan. Here are a few tips:
- Immediately cut nonessential expenses so your money goes further
- Review all other essential expenses and set a goal to reduce each expense by a certain percentage
- Take advantage of all offers, discounts, free periods, etc. available to help you reduce your daily costs
- Set aside everything you can to create and increase your emergency fund
- If you have money to spare, you can contribute to the front lines through organizations like Mercy Malaysia and World Vision Malaysia, while platforms like #Kitajagakita offer resources for those who wish to volunteer or offer a financial aid.
- Get the upper hand on your debts: talk to your banks to negotiate and restructure any loan or credit card balance you have if you anticipate payment problems in the immediate future.
Bank Negara Malaysia has announced an automatic moratorium on all loan or financing payments to individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) borrowers for a period of six months. Other countries also have their own moratorium offered. More details can be found in the iMoney COVID-19 guide for the respective countries.
- Stay tuned for the latest news that can affect your personal finances: government and industry-led financial assistance programs, updated with news, from trusted and verified sources, will also help you stay on top of the latest news. day when it comes to other personal finance issues, be it budgeting, savings, investments, protection, etc.
For more updates on COVID-19 and financial advice on how to get through this bumpy journey, check out our COVID-19 guide on iMoney Learning Center.
Do you have any other COVID-19 personal finance survival tips?
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