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During times of global economic instability, many industries experience extreme difficulties and even collapse. This can in turn lead to problems such as recession, mass unemployment and considerable financial shortages amongst hard working families. Though savings are important, there often comes a time when you need to dip into them, in order to make sure you can pay for essentials or cover the cost of emergency spending. In this article, we discuss how you can make use of the savings you have without wasting them or making poor financial decisions.
Though some savings account can be difficult to access quickly, if you are saving with the purpose of using the money you invested to bail you out in a crisis, you need to make sure that you can get at your cash quickly if you need to. Ensure that your account allows you to withdraw money online or via an atm. You may need to speak to your bank or provider to make sure this is an option before you decide to sign up to anything officially.
Like a household budget or a repayment plan for a salary loan, you need to carefully monitor your savings account when you are using it to pay for essentials or to cover the cost of ongoing emergency expenses. Whether you use a paper system, a spreadsheet or an online money management app is entirely up to you, but you will need to make sure you are not just making purchases or spending without recording anything. This is the fastest way to blow everything you have worked so hard to save up for in a noticeably short space of time.
If you want to try and make your savings last, set yourself limits in terms of how much you are permitted to use each week or month. This might not be practical if you only have a small amount of funds available, but for those with the equivalent of a month or two’s salary, it makes sense to try and live as frugally as you can to avoid frittering what you have put aside. Economising on food, clothing and other areas of your life can help you do this without feeling as if you are missing out on too much.
Unfortunately, there are some situations in life where impulse spending is unavoidable. Emergency medical care, repairs to structural damage or unexpected vehicle costs will all mean that you are likely to have to make a purchase without having much of an opportunity to shop around for the best deal. In these circumstances, try to use comparison sites where you can and avoid being rushed in to buying any unnecessary extras that salespeople may try to push on you. In situations where you do have the opportunity to spend some time comparing products or services before you have to make a final decision, take as long as you can to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
The current situation will eventually end, and the world will go back to some sense of relative normality within the next 12 months or so. It can feel tempting to take out everything you have, especially when you are not working or have fallen victim to the millions of layoffs that are happening across the globe. If you can, try to keep back at least something so that you do not end up needing to borrow without knowing how you will pay the money back. Additional income from selling unwanted goods, second jobs and furlough payments, if you are lucky enough to have this option, are all options to consider before you rush to clear out your account.
In today’s marketplace, competition is fierce between retailers and manufacturers. This is great news for the consumer as it means that generally speaking, you can always find products or services that do exactly the same thing as the leading brand but for far less than you would ordinarily pay. If Covid 19 has taught the world anything, it is to reconsider the value of “branding” in general. It can be nice to feel as if you have top of the range equipment and the latest must have labels but in a pandemic situation, where people are losing loved ones as well as their own lives, this kind of thinking begins to seem impractical. If you can, use independent stores and cheaper alternatives to the biggest, most famous corporations. This helps people on a local level and also means that you get the same kind of quality as you would expect from the most established brands, but for much less.
This probably the hardest step of all and takes the kind of self-discipline and self-sacrifice that not everybody has. Learning not to be wasteful, to make sure you get the most out of your weekly shopping budget and thinking twice before you splurge on a yet another little treat to yourself will all make the biggest difference when it comes to how long your savings will last. In certain circumstances, you may have no choice but to use the money you have put away to cover things your salary would normally pay for, but try to keep these to the absolute essentials if you want to make sure you’re getting the most from your money.
Self-discipline, taking your time and thinking through financial decisions carefully are the main ways you can hope to make your savings last longer. You can also drastically reduce the amount you eat into what you have saved up by making a habit of checking your account balance regularly and keeping track of any purchases that you do make.