At the moment, the world is battling a novel virus that has caused over a thousand deaths globally. Although it started in China, it has now affected African countries with Namibia recording its two confirmed cases last week and neighboring South Africa recording 64 cases to date. With those developments, it has begun causing panic which has financial implications.
Everyone is affected starting from airline companies, border control operations as well many businesses closing in attempt to contain the virus. Without knowing the full impact of what is yet to come, what are some of the measures that you can take with regards to your finances to be ready?
- Be informed about the facts and only those should inform your financial decisions. One of the main confusion is around the use of masks, gloves and hand sanitizers and people are spending unwarranted money on things that may not be necessarily. In addition, by buying things uninformed, we creating a “fake demand on products”, which is likely to affect supply, which in turn will increase the price of most needed items during the crisis. Consequently, we are creating shortage to those that really need the items and hence let us be cautious.
- If you are going to stock up, please consider the necessities and not luxuries. I saw something circulating on social media of all sorts of items being stocked up but some of which really are not basic needs. You need to consider what will really be crucial should the outbreak be prolonged ? You might need that money at a later stage.
- Avoid travelling. Not only does it save you money but it also reduces your risk of getting infected and will also aid in you not become an transmission agent. Moving from town to town can accelerate the transmission rate.
- Lastly if you do not have any cash reserve that is accessible on demand but you do have some saving stored away, maybe you might want to consider putting an application to get some cash so that you are ready in case of emergencies. If we are able to contain this as a country, no harm, you can always send your money back to savings.
Lastly do not forget to keep your hands clean especially when dealing with cash, ATM and swiping points. Cash changes hands very quickly, speed points get used by many people and so are ATM. I therefore urge you to ensure that you wash your hands after dealing with money and keep cash and ATM visits at minimal
Dhalondoka iha dhiyi Iita ( Loosely translated as forewarned is forearmed)