This is why financial planning is important in a time of a pandemic

Because being financially sound can help you survive these tough times
By Kaydee dela Buena

This is why financial planning is important in a time of a pandemic
Being financially prepared is important, pandemic or not
During these unprecedented times, being financially prepared makes all the difference. Loss of jobs and reduction in income have become the new normal. Whether you’re a business owner, employee, or self-employed, you’re bound to have been affected one way or another by the pandemic 
 
Financial planning is usually at the bottom of one’s list. Listed below are reasons as to why financial preparedness is important, pandemic or not: 
 
Better physical and mental well-being
Money, especially the lack thereof, is one of the biggest contributors of stress. According to a survey, 14.5% of Filipinos associate stress with money. This includes financial uncertainty, impending bills, and lack of budget. Financial stress is not only burdensome but can be deadly. 
 
It can trigger mental and emotional distress. When stressed, people are likely to engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, which then leads to more health risks. Since there’s a strong link between mental and physical health, your body will also suffer. And when you are unwell, you’ll only just spend more and more money for treatment. By doing the necessary work to get your finances in order, and securing yourself and your loved ones from unexpected medical expenses, you’re also adding years and greater security, improving your quality of life.
 
Family stability
Being financially prepared allows you to keep up-to-date on your household bills and readily provide the needs of your family. This pandemic caused grocery shelves to become empty as more people clamored for basic necessities like food and medications. As a result, shortages and delays in deliveries also occurred. It’s important to stock up on supplies and prepare an emergency fund to help you tide over periods of crisis like this. 
 
Furthermore, marriages and familial relationships thrive without the added burden of financial strain. This pressure can sometimes cause couples to blame each other, rather than encourage them to work together to solve problems. This then, brings a negative impact on your kids’ mental health. We’re already living through a crisis, so there’s no need to dump on more problems.
 
More opportunities in life
You’re more in control of your life if you have money saved up and secured your future. Financial preparedness means adding more options and opportunities in your life. For example, you may try to invest to increase your income. Others may want to explore opening an online business. Or get an insurance plan to protect your finances.  Since most of us are stuck at home, might as well take advantage of virtual opportunities that open up. This comes in handy if your income suddenly becomes compromised due to the enforced lockdown.
 
Improves self-discipline
When you start saving money, you now see spending differently. Every peso we spend especially during quarantine should be well thought out. Our spending habits will definitely change in the coming months as we navigate through these tough times and find ways to bounce back. Apart from having money saved, you’re also teaching yourself to be more responsible with managing your funds. 
 
Financial security
Ultimately, being financially prepared equates to stability in the future. Your current financial habits can determine how you will live in the next few years. People who are financially stable have more margin and savings, meaning they are able to live comfortably within their means. When something unexpected comes, like this pandemic, you minimize your risks of being swallowed by debt or bankruptcy. Achieving stability requires a lot of hard work, but these day-to-day sacrifices more than make up for it in the future. 
 
The uncertainty of our current situation brings repercussions not only to our well-being, but to that of the community as well. Being financially prepared is a good line of defense. You don’t have to wait for the next crisis before you start putting your finances in order. Preparation is better than having to pay off debt for years with compounding interest rates. Regardless of your financial knowledge, you can secure your future as long as you study, plan, and take necessary action.