We all are in lockdown from last 70+ days & this is probably a once in a life event. The whole world is fighting coronavirus and some form of lockdown is there in every part of the world.
People are losing jobs, seeing salary cuts and we all are wondering how the future will be from here. I think that while in short term all these problems will happen, but once things get normal and life is back to same point, things will be back in action. But it will take some time.. It can take 1-2 yrs.
8 Learning’s from this Lockdown
While there is so much of negativity and bad news all around. I want to admit that this lockdown was an experience in itself. It tested our patience. It forced us to do things we didn’t like and also opened new ideas for us. We saw many new creative ways people do business and how even in this crisis, our Jugaad attitude worked well for many things.
The lockdown has also given us a good opportunity to reflect back on many things in our finances and life in general. I want to share some of the things in this post.
1. We need a higher Emergency Fund
One clear lesson from this pandemic is that we need much higher emergency fund. Before the pandemic, I have often said that 4-6 months of emergency fund is ok to have, but I feel that needs to be revised to 12 months now.
Keep a year worth of expenses in a combination of liquid mutual funds and Fixed deposit and earn a near-inflation return.
- You may lose the job and not get it for 9 months
- Your employer might not be able to pay you.
- You might want to take a long break to take care of someone in family.
- You may meet an accident followed by a long bed rest.
- You might be shifting your industry and might be looking at new job
- We may see another pandemic and things can close down again!
2. Count your blessings – we have enough to live a good life
It was shocking to see how millions of people especially migrant workers suffered so much after they were stuck in various cities. They had no food, no money, and no roof over their head. They walked hundreds and thousands of KM on foot with small kids with them. We can’t ever understand how it feels when someone is in that state.
At the same time, we were comfortable at our home with everything stocked up. We had groceries, money in bank, and a nice home. Many of us also participated in dalgona coffee challenge and some also posted (including me) pictures of the various nice dishes on social media to showcase our achievements.
Image Source : Deccan Herald
It’s time to acknowledge that we are blessed.
- We are blessed to have food on table
- We are blessed to have a good sleep
- We are blessed to be with our family
- We are blessed to not worry about the next meal
- We are blessed to still be employed or employable
In short, while we can point to salary cuts/loss and boredom we faced sitting at home, we have to not forget that we are doing extremely well compared to millions. We are extremely blessed and we need to acknowledge it. We need to be grateful that many seek a life which we are already living.
3. We were spending more than required
Over the last 75 days, I spend ZERO on amazon, swiggy, zomato, uber, flipkart, eating out, any outings ..
I think I am doing fine and nothing has happened to me.
That does not mean that spending on those things is a problem, Infact I will restart it again.
But I think we have got a clear message that we were over-doing it. We can survive fine with less online shopping, less outing, less parties, less eating out and what not.
4. We can surely save much more than we think
So we were spending more .. we just saw.
Which means that we can potentially save much more than we think we can, if we control our self and carefully utilize our resources.
By how much can you increase your investments?
Pick your number .. But I am sure you can invest a little more than what you are doing currently! . Here is a one small trick to drastically increase your saving rate
5. It helps to have an additional source of income
Imagine for a second that you lost your job and there is no active income coming in
Now imagine another case
Imagine you lost your job, and no active income coming in.. but you also have another income source which brings in some money. So you know at least the food will be on table.
The current pandemic has seen many people lose their jobs and many of them who had alternate income or another person earning income in house knows the importance of it. Before it happens again with you, its time you get serious about creating it.
It can happen in many ways..
- A side business
- Rent from property
- Interest from your investments
- Dividends from stocks
Here are some ideas to make extra income other than your regular job
Please make a start ..
6. Respect for housemaid has gone up 100 times
I always get this feeling that maids in India are paid extremely poorly. After I have been involved in the household work in this lockdown, my respect for maids has gone up to whole new level.
It’s not just time to acknowledge their contribution in our life and making our life easy, but also to pay them their dues well.
A maid in my society gets Rs 600 per task on an average. That’s Rs 20-22 per day given to them assuming 2 holidays. Even if it takes 30 min to do dishes, we are talking about Rs 40-50 per hour wage here which is one of the lowest in the world.
NRI’s or people who have returned back from US or other countries know very well what I am talking about.
It’s time we appreciate them more, don’t be so nosy about their salaries we pay. I know many maids are over smart and try to extract money out of you and don’t do their work properly, but overall I feel they are not paid well enough.
7. Things can do wrong anytime – RISK is always there
Let’s not forget one thing. RISK is always there .. ALWAYS !
- Your company may be doing great
- Your industry is booming
- Your performance has been amazing.
Still, you can be without the job the next day
You may be healthy, never smoked, never ate oily .. you can still get heart attack. The risk is always there!
This pandemic has shown many people that risk can suddenly turn up and show its ugly face.
As Subra says – “Risk is always there, unless the event is complete”
8. It’s time we learn new skills and become more “useful”
The current coronavirus crisis should act like a final warning to all those, who are just dragging in their jobs without contributing much. Get up and acquire the skills. Go upgrade yourself
I know many people from IT sector who are working with old skills. When they apply for other jobs, there are no takers.
If you are not “useful”, you will be OUT very soon. If not today, may be tomorrow – but it will happen for sure
It also helps if you have additional expertise which can help you change your jobs/sectors if situation arises. Borden your skill set and hone your skills.
Stop moving towards the “Obsolete zone”
What was your biggest learning from Lockdown and coronavirus crisis?
So that was all I had to share today.
Can I ask you to share your own biggest learning from this whole crisis and lockdown episode? Also share what you feel about my learning’s?