With coronavirus sweeping across the globe, more and more of us are becoming worried and feeling uncertain about what this means. One of the many effects of the virus leading to self isolation is the financial issues it comes along with. Here’s how it could affect your money in the near future.
If you’re an employee
If you’re an employee with a company and need to self isolate, you may get statutory sick pay- or you might get nothing at all. Either way, being left with considerably less (or no money at all) will have a huge knock on effect on your finances. For those that were already struggling with money, this can be the last nail in the coffin but even if you were doing ok, financial problems will likely arise now. In some parts of the world there are talks of rent and mortgage relief which can take off some of the pressure. But in many places it hasn’t got to this stage yet. Many of us are in a position where we don’t want to put our health at risk (or bring home the illness to a family member who could end up at risk) but are unable to afford to take time off. It’s a difficult predicament that massive numbers of people are facing.
If you’re a business owner
Some businesses have already been badly affected. Even in parts of the world that aren’t on lockdown, the advice is to close anywhere that’s non essential. So pubs and entertainment venues, gyms, all kinds of shops have had to close their doors. On top of this, the ones that are still open are struggling as increasing numbers of people go into self isolation and avoid public areas where they might come into contact with the infection. In some cases, you might be able to adapt. Depending on what your business does, offering a no- contact delivery service of what you sell can be incredibly useful while people are isolating. In other cases, it’s a matter of closing your doors and waiting it out to find out what will happen- its an incredibly worrying time. Do what you can from home, ideally you’ll have other stream of income too as a fallback. For example you could look at bitcoin prices and trade currency, monetise a blog or do some freelance work.
Many of us live week to week with our grocery shopping, it could be for practical reasons (such as not having space to stockpile) or financial ones- food is expensive after all. We’ve all seen the chaos that panic buying has caused, however if you need to self isolate or are preparing for it to happen within the next few weeks then you’ll need enough supplies to keep you going. If you’re on a budget, focus on tins and packets, herbs and spices and grains like pasta and rice. The freezer can be used for storing batch cooked meals, or just ingredients until you’re ready to use them like meat and vegetables. Work out what you’re likley to need over a two week period and shop based on this.