Lessons About Managing Finances in 2020

Hindsight is 20/20.

When we rang in the new year in January 2020, nobody expected that the entire world would soon be battling a pandemic. By March, however, it was clear that the situation wasn’t going to get better. It wasn’t just our health and safety that was compromised. Many of us lost our jobs, too. Suddenly, our next mortgage payment—for some, their next meal—was in danger. Everyone was caught off guard—those with no savings, life insurance, or any form of health plan even more so. Having lived through the worst of 2020, we’re hopefully better equipped to face what 2021 has in store for us.

Holding people accountable is important.

In the middle of the year, the entire nation was rocked by a scandal involving PhilHealth. Employees and employers alike are required to contribute to PhilHealth monthly, and in turn, the government agency provided universal health care to Filipinos. However, the exposure of a barrage of alleged malpractices within the agency has broken that trust. While the issue is far from resolved, the people’s demands for justice helped a lot in keeping it at the forefront of the news, and a top priority for our lawmakers. This shows us that staying passive will get us nowhere—whether it’s demanding that a government agency take responsibility for their actions or telling your friend to pay up on that loan

We live in a world of excess.

Admit it: When the lockdown first happened, when we were forced to work from home, some things became less important. We realized that we could live in a world of basics. In fact, many of us probably embraced it. We learned to make our own food, grow our own plants, even cut our own hair! We became more involved in our respective communities, bartering with neighbors and friends for things that are as simple as cookies or bread. We learned to pare down our expenses. While some of us have returned to our old ways—our spending on food apps alone is proof of this—let’s not forget times when we learned to live simply and carry that with us into the new year.

Risk can—and should be—managed.

While life can be unpredictable, there are certain risks that we can anticipate and that we should prepare for. If you own a property or a vehicle, consider getting the appropriate non-life insurance products. If you have a family that depends on you, consider insuring yourself. Risk products were created specifically to help you mitigate the losses you could incur in the event of an unfortunate circumstances. Not all products are created equal, of course, so it’s important that you read up on each one well before you decide whether it’ll be of help to you or not.

Consistency is key.

Did you promise to start saving up last January in hopes of having a large sum to show for it now? If you were able to meet your savings goal, then congratulations are in order. But if you’re like most people (ourselves included!), then you’re probably depending on your 13th month pay to make up for lost time, if you haven’t already spent it on something else! When it comes to saving, consistency is important. More than increasing the number of zeroes in your bank account, it gets you into the habit of saving. In less than a month, a new year will be upon us. The question is: Will you be consistently rich or consistently poor? 

PHOTO: Pixabay.com

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