The government has just announced another round of partial lockdowns (CMCO) in some parts of Malaysia as the country faces another wave of COVID-19 infections.
Read on for our tips on living in lockdown so that you can take care of your financial health while staying safe from the virus.
- Keep some cash for emergencies: Although many of us have gone cashless with e-wallets (see point 2), online payments or debit/credit cards, it’s still a good idea to keep some cash in your wallet for emergencies. The amount will depend on your own needs, but try to have a mix of denominations e.g. RM20, RM5 and RM1. The timing of ATM and banking services will also be limited depending on the level of lockdown we’re in, so having cash on you at all times will make sure you don’t have to worry about getting to the ATM in time.
- Set up an e-wallet: You can read about the benefits of e-wallets and how they work here, and if you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to get one as a substitute for carrying cash. Many shops now accept e-wallet payments, which can also help you get rewards, deals and cashback, plus e-wallets can help you reduce touching things as we try to avoid picking up COVID-19. You might also find that smaller shops accept e-wallets but don’t accept cards, so currently e-wallets could be a better option than cards.
- Take stock of your household items & necessities: Since it’s better to limit going out during this pandemic, make sure you have enough of your household items and other necessities to survive for one week, but don’t panic buy! Make a budget and shopping list and stick to it! Local businesses have also done a great job of offering online shopping for groceries since the pandemic started, so you can now browse the internet for your household and pantry needs from the biggest supermarkets to small businesses.
- Make sure you have enough petrol in your car/motorbike: If you use your own transport, make sure you have enough petrol to get around in case petrol stations are closed when you need to refill, because businesses may have to operate within limited hours. This isn’t so much a problem in the daytime, but if, for example, you need to go to the clinic in the middle of the night, you don’t want to find yourself with an empty petrol tank and nowhere to refill.
- Manage your money calmly: With COVID-19 causing a lot of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your money. Apart from your grocery budget, keep track of your overall budget so you always stay on top of your finances. Ideally, you would have some emergency savings, be able to manage any debt and not spend more than you earn. You can read more on planning your budget here.
We know the current situation has led to not just health worries but also financial stress, so we hope you’ll find these tips helpful as you go about your daily life under movement control. As always, stay safe and take care!