There has been a lot of talks about recession happening because of COVID-19. This was evident with the global market suffering since March 2020. The following year (2021) was supposed to be the recovery year and signs from the first 2 quarters have been slower than expected.
Malaysians feeling the pinch
When the government of Malaysia implemented the MCO (Movement Control Order), it was expected that such a move will affect the livelihood of Malaysians. True enough, companies had to downsize, businesses closed and people lost their jobs. Help in financial aids and other schemes were given out by the government. As an ordinary citizen, how ready are you?
Being prepared and ready for the crunch
Market analysts have already forecasted that the economic crisis after COVID-19 will be worse than 2008-2009 one. So what does this mean? The following are expected to occur if they have not already taken place.
- Employment – Companies will not be hiring as normally as they used to. This would be a huge challenge for new graduates as companies become more choosy when hiring candidates. Those under contract or part-time would be the first to be cut.
- Lifestyle changes – People no longer travel like before. You would have to postpone your lifestyle plans including getting married or even having kids.
- Education – Many families have delayed their kids’ education because of COVID-19. Instead of sending them straight to university after high school, they do not mind waiting a year or two since they will be studying from home anyway.
- Financial situation – This is the main issue with COVID-19. You will find that your investments will change and your future financial sustainability will be severely altered. The saying that it is better to have a job than none at all will be more evident.
What can you do?
While the world recovers from COVID-19, it means you have time on your hands. This is the time to regroup and replan your future. Whatever is coming could be really bad or it could be milder than forecasted but to be ready, you should:
- Forego unneeded expenses – This is the time to evaluate how you can reduce your expenditure. If you have been paying for club membership, perhaps it is time to stop that since you will not be going there as often.
- Keep (and maintain) your income – Whatever happens in the future, you must ensure that you have a stable income. You could have an emergency fund but that would run out if you do not have ways to replenish it.
- Upskill – This will help to keep your job for a longer time. What you want to do at this point is to improve your employability so that you cultivate the skills that your employer needs.
- Take up a side income – It would be great if you have a passive income at this point but if you don’t, perhaps this is a good time to start. Make crafts for sale, online tutoring classes, home videos and such are some good ways to start
- Invest – This is a good time to invest in money markets like gold and cryptocurrencies. Don’t be gung-ho. Do your homework and invest wisely by learning about them online or seek out a licensed investment advisor. It is easier now than before, so you might want to consider this.
Ultimately, you want to create a situation where you would be able to sustain for as long as you can. The recession will happen and the only question is how bad will it be. You need to have what it takes to weather it through so that you come out unharmed on the other side.