This is the first article in a two-part series on your options for boosting your finances when you really need to.
It is part of a larger collection of stories and practical finance tips published by Metrobank to help people learn from the experiences of others, and to pick up lessons on personal finance and sound money habits beyond the pandemic.
You can read Part 2 by clicking here.
As the lockdown eases, you need to take stock of your current cash flow. How are you gearing up for a life in the time of COVID-19? Here are some recommendations on how to find extra cash during these difficult times:
- Take advantage of grace periods.
- Seek some financial assistance from the government, if you’re qualified.
- Consider a side-hustle for additional income.
- Borrow wisely.
There is no sugarcoating it: the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is putting a dent in many people’s finances. Keeping finances afloat is a challenge for everyone. Here are a few tips to help manage your money.
Creating breathing room
When it comes to managing money during a crisis, there are two considerations: how to minimize spending and how to optimize income.
First, take advantage of grace periods for loan payments that are available. Anticipating the impact of the enhanced community quarantine, the government passed a law called the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that gives temporary relief–a grace period–from payments.
Payments are now delayed for loans and bills, but an inevitable “bill shock” follows once the grace period ends. Manage and prioritize your bills payment to avoid “bill shock”.
Government institutions extend financial assistance to qualified individuals. These are some of the government agencies that offer help:
- Social Security System (SSS)
- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Department of Finance (DOF)
You can call SSS and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) since their members can avail of emergency loans. The Pag-IBIG House Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) also offers loans to people in areas under a declared state of calamity.
But you are only eligible for government assistance if you are an active member. SSS or GSIS can grant you a loan of up to PHP 20,000, while the Pag-IBIG calamity loan can give you up to 80% of your total contributions. The annual interest rates range from 6% to 10% and are payable in two to three years. However, getting the loan immediately may prove a challenge.
Also, depending on where you live, some local governments also offer financial assistance to residents. You can check on individual social media groups of local governments for information on financial assistance that is different from the “social amelioration program” offered by the national government.
You may also check the website of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for details on requirements for financial assistance.
Finding other sources of income
Cutting back on spending and receiving financial assistance can only take you so far.
The COVID-19 crisis has posed employment concerns for a lot of people and finding a new source of income has become critical. The opportunities available vary and people might find themselves settling for lower-paying employment in the meantime.
Side hustles can also be an option if you have the time and energy. These days, freelance opportunities are available online. If you have a marketable skill, like writing, graphic design, web design, or programming, you can try to look for potential clients.
You can also sell things you own but do not need. It may not be a stable and continuing source of income, but the extra cash can help you get by.
Read Part 2 here.
This article was originally published on the Metrobank website