Covid-19 has hit the global economy on an unprecedented scale. Everyone from multi-billion dollar corporations to your neighbourhood nasi lemak aunty has seen their finances take a hit. Some of us have seen our incomes reduced or have even lost our jobs.
According to a survey conducted by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, most Malaysians do not have adequate savings (more than four months) for pandemic. No one expected this, so it’s not surprising that most of us are unprepared.
We’re creatures of habit and the MCO has forced us to change our lifestyles in the most drastic manner. We can no longer step out of our homes for a cup of coffee, and we’re learning how to be better cooks at home because that’s where we are, 24 hours a day. We’ve even learned how to carry out minor home repair and maintenance works on our own.
Our financial planning must take on a more sustainable approach. Exercising discipline has become second nature to us during this time, and we can actually take this a step further to help us plan our finances.
Get financially prepared for The New Normal.
Prior to the MCO, you’ve kept your mortgage payments in check, but you’re finding it difficult to continue now that there is a lot of uncertainties. Rental rates are decreasing, and the commercial property market is facing an oversupply. Take control of your investment.
With the further OPR (Overnight Policy Rate) cut, interest/profit rates are the lowest in a decade. After considering the current market rate for your property, discuss refinancing your property with your bank. You could get additional cash at a lower interest/profit rate while reducing your monthly payments.
If you’re still having trouble servicing your loans/financing, consider taking on a Personal Financing facility with another bank to help finance your payments. Compare interest/profit rates and clauses before deciding on the best option.
EPF withdrawals for payment of home loans/financing can be done for up to 12 months and can help alleviate the burden of coming up with the amount every month.
Talk to your bank to see how your loans/financing can be restructured and rescheduled.
AKPK can help you restructure your debts via their Debt Management Programme.
There are options such as personal financing and cash advances to help you get back on your feet. You can discuss refinancing your home or taking on an overdraft. However, only consider these options if they can provide you with the opportunity and time to improve your financial situation and will not inconvenience you in the future.
This is the time to minimise and prioritise. Adopt prudent spending habits, and you can also sell items you have not used in the last six months.