As a couple, it is normal to share everything together. This is part of sharing a life together. By sharing, this also includes finances.
Pre-pandemic, you and your spouse have a game plan – you work overseas and send money back home while s/he will attend to your growing family. Then, there’s a side business, too, for additional income.
Unfortunately, the pandemic changed your – and everyone’s – financial game plan. All of a sudden, you were repatriated with only separation benefits on your pocket. Then, you start to wonder what will happen to your family? How can you manage your finances now that you are unemployed?
We hope these tips help:
Tip No. 1: Be Honest About Your Situation
There’s no point in lying or sugarcoating your current situation. At this stage, you need to be honest about what is happening. Have a formal communication where you can both talk about:
- The family’s current financial situation
- Any existing loans
- Other possible sources of income aside from remittance
- Adjustments to be made by every member of the family
- Strategies on how your family can “ride it out” until you can go back to your work overseas
It won’t be easy to lay everything on the table but this is the only way. Do not keep any secrets and just inform each other about any money concerns later on when everything blew up to your faces. You need to know what is happening so you and your spouse could create a more effective budget and come up with solutions on how you can address the situation – together.
Tip No. 2: Know Your Needs Before Wants
The pandemic took a toll in everything we know is normal. In fact, it affected everyone, big and small, rich or otherwise.
Now that we need cash more than ever, it’s time identify as a couple what your family needs. These are non-negotiable essentials like food and a place to stay, so make sure budget is allotted for that. Then, make a list of the things and expenses you can dispense with. At this time, needs must come first because this will help you and your family survive the tide.
Tip No. 3: Review Your Finances
Aside from identifying your needs over wants, it’s also a must to review your finances.
Make a list of all your existing loans as well as monthly expenses. This will help you identify which expenses you can eliminate. At the same time, you can check what loans need to be paid first based on either the earliest due date or higher interest rate.
Again, honesty is important to be able to manage your finances effectively. This will also help you devise a proper plan on how to ensure continuity even during the pandemic.
Tip No. 4: Make Necessary Adjustments
Now that you are both aware of the current financial standing, it’s time to make adjustments as a family.
This means you need to forego certain expenses like takeouts or online shopping. You and your family must also be mindful of your consumption, especially when it comes to water and electricity. Adjustments must be collective and not just done by one or two persons. Otherwise, you might have a hard time riding out this pandemic if you stick to your old ways.
In other words, work as a team.
Tip No. 5: Look For Other Means Of Income
You and your family survive with remittance, until Covid-19 happened. Income is limited and let’s face it, money is an issue.
That being said, come up with ways on how you can improve your standard of living. Look for other means to earn money either by applying for job or putting up your own business, regardless of how small it is. You might know someone who is looking for your services, so take advantage of your network.
The bottom line is both you and your spouse, together with the kids, must help each to be able to survive this pandemic.
If you’re looking for an easier way to finance your business, then you should know that Balikbayad is here to help. You can apply online and we will get back to you as soon we can.