The difficult time we are living has not only made us more aware of the importance of being financially prepared for contingencies (which will always exist and now we know the level they can reach), it has also shown us that financial services online they are the immediate future of our consumer relationships, among other teachings.
These are three lessons that COVID-19 will leave and that will help us to better face future economic vicissitudes:
1 How to act during a difficult time
Although the news of the long-awaited vaccine and the gradual economic reactivation represent a light at the end of the tunnel, it is still necessary to attend to some recommendations to protect our finances in times of coronavirus.
♦ Avoid panic shopping. No matter how many waves of contagion arise, it is never a good idea to get huge amounts of food, face masks or any other good, as this only makes the products more expensive and makes you spend money that you may need later on.
♦ Reduce expenses. It is time to attend to the urgent first and then the important. Those unnecessary expenses can be seen more clearly today than ever, so we must avoid them and, as much as possible, spend that money to create a “mattress” that helps us overcome unforeseen situations in the coming months.
♦ Avoid getting into debt. It is true that there may be very useful financing alternatives to get ahead in these times, but you must carefully analyze the options so that your financial stability does not collapse before we overcome this difficult test.
2 Digital money can save the day
And to the world: during these quarantine months, electronic commerce kept a good part of the world economy afloat. But perhaps the best we can salvage from this is that a good percentage of people who did not trust electronic money have lost their fear of digital transactions.
From one day to the next we became experts in making the pantry, paying for the services and carrying out bureaucratic procedures online.
“Given the confinement measures, we have had to migrate earlier than expected towards the application of tools that digital transformation offers, and, although they are a great alternative, it is necessary to know that this requires more attention, specifically regarding information security”Commented Mónica Hernández, director of Information Security at Banco Sabadell, who shares some tips to strengthen preventive actions against fraud and theft now that digital transactions are on the rise:
♦ Always check the network from which you connect and the authenticity of the sites you visit. The padlock closed to the side of the URL is the best indication that you are browsing safely.
♦ Do not place your passwords in visible places, this includes the notes of your phone and computer equipment.
♦ Although it seems obvious, do not give information by any means to strangers. Remember that no bank will ask you for personal data through the mail or telephone.
♦ A good habit is to review the movements of your accounts daily through your mobile application. It can be a bit cumbersome at first but it takes no more than two minutes and with that you can prevent and solve any problem in time.
♦ Maintain communication with your bank, approach customer service for any questions or clarifications. Always use official channels.
3 The importance of saving
Now more than ever in history, we have proven that saving is the answer for what we have always wanted and, above all, for what we never know. And is thata being cautious, it is very difficult to foresee when it may arise an unexpected that alters our family finances and personal finances.
Banco Sabadell shares some suggestions for creating an emergency fund so that next time you won’t find us “with your fingers on the door”:
♦ Analyze your monthly fixed expenses. It is the first step because it is recommended that your emergency fund be the equivalent of three months of these expenses.
♦ Multiply. Food, rent, gas, school, transportation … Are you sure you don’t forget something? Perfect, now you just have to multiply the resources you spend on it by three to get your target amount.
♦ Set the amount you will save each month.Do not despair, you can do it little by little but constantly. Set small weekly or biweekly goals so that at the end of the month the results motivate you.
♦ Update your background. Once you have the equivalent of three months of your fixed expenses, your contingency backup is ready. Although the temptation is great, do not occupy it and rather increase it every time your fixed expenses grow.
Only each of us knows the severity of financial learning that the pandemic will leave us; however, it is never too late to regain control of our personal finances, start again, and get ahead.