The Hummingbird Blog

A Series of Insights Into Savings, Personal Finance and Behavioural Science

Part 1 - The Need for Unconventional Ways of Saving in the Post-COVID World

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just knock the door down when it burst on to the scene; it broke through with a sledgehammer. And like virtually all pandemics, there was no forewarning predicting its coming. It simply arrived on the scene and ravaged through the entire world.

In the months since the emergence of the SARS-COV2 virus, the cost of living has been quite high. This prompted governments around the world to take unprecedented action in hopes of containing the virus. And while it has certainly been a tragic situation that the world has had to face, measures taken to contain the outbreak of the pandemic have not come without their fair share of consequences. Naturally, some have been quite positive, while others not so much.

These efforts led to shutting down much of the world economy. This meant that a great deal of non-essential businesses closed their doors until further notice. The consensus definition of “non-essential” basically encompasses any type of business that does not contribute to the sustainment of life. Examples of non-essential businesses are restaurants, gyms, pubs, any type of entertainment (including sports), and shops that do not sell bare necessities.

In this reaction, some business shuttered their doors for good. Other business closed their doors indefinitely while firing some part of their staff while also furloughing others. Those who kept their jobs were faced with the prospect of reduced hours, and thereby, reduced wages.

While we hope that the measures taken to flatten the COVID-19 curve are only temporary, the socio-economic effects of the shutdown will last far longer. Consequently, this has placed great pressure on families, especially in those where breadwinner(s) lost their employment. Naturally, this type of situation has forced families to dip into their savings to bridge the gap until things pick up again.

However, not all families have savings to dip into. And those that do, don’t have unlimited funds to draw from. This reality has led to governments around the world to implement stimulus measures to help families pay bills until the economy begins to recover.

Still, these checks have been slow to come by, and often, not enough to cover all expenses.

This reality has forced families to cut down on many of the expenses that they normally made. And while cutting back on expenses makes sense in times of crisis, the fact is that families really have no other choice. The problem gets even worse when considering the fact that vital areas such as health, education, and food are neglected as a result of reduced incomes.

Still, the problem at hand is not the lack of income. Rather, the core issue is the lack of savings. When a family has a healthy emergency fund, they can navigate the waters of any turbulent time. But where there is a clear lack of savings, families can’t hold on for too long until difficult decisions need to be made. In this article, we are going to explore the need to boost savings for the purpose of building an emergency fund while also looking at unconventional ways in which this can be achieved.

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