Economic slowdown due to COVID is forcing people to let go off their dreams. How to cope with it?

“It is my tenth wedding anniversary this year. I had planned to gift my wife an Iphone from a bonus I was expecting to come in. It would have been enough for me to be slightly more extravagant without affecting our household budget, but now, everything has fallen apart within a matter of days because of COVID19 pandemic. All my savings are getting used up due to the sudden stagnancy in my pay scale as the company is trying to stay afloat. Her disappointment is one thing, but I am also heartbroken and sad?” rues Abhishek Varma,  a area sales manager in an FMCG company.

Many people have had to put their dreams and plans on hold due to the economic crisis. COVID19 has not only affected people’s physical and mental health but has got their finances squeezed in a way that has severely affected their lifestyles. 

“I live in Melbourne and I had been saving up so that I can call my parents here. But the coronavirus has hit the companies here too. I had already booked their tickets for the month of June but conditions seem very difficult. I miss my parents, it gets so lonely here. My father has been dreaming of coming here since the time I joined this company. But everything has turned into waste. Money, dreams, wishes. My mother is heartbroken and I don’t know how to help them when I am millions of miles away,” says Moulshree Mittal.

Be it the smallest dreams of buying a new car, getting a new phone, to buying a washing machine, without a bonus or even the normal salary the situations have become disappointing. Be it your parents or your spouse or your children, broken dreams are disheartening for all. And the worst hit  is the person who feels responsible for breaking these dreams--he feels incomptent, worthless, and questions his own efforts at not being able to fulfill small aspirations of his family.

Though you as a working professional might cope up with this disappointment as you know what’s at stake, explaining the situation to your family members might seem like a difficult task.

In such conditions, it is important for you to take stock of your financial condition. 

- Accept the current situation and acknowledge the fact that things would get worse for the coming days.

- Take a note of the salary cutbacks that you might experience during the crisis.

- Note the monthly requirements and expenses. Cut off any unnecessary investments.

- Check your savings inclusive of the smallest investments that you might have. 

- Devise a plan that covers the expenses for the next 6 months - alongside the little savings that you can manage. 

Once you have understood your financial status, try a simple step-by-step process to take your family members through the plan. 

- Let them know about your current status and future predictions.

- Give them a considerable amount of time to digest the plan and ruminate through it.

- Ask them for suggestion or help if needed as this might also give them a sense of importance in your life and the decisions that you are taking for the whole family.

- Assure them how you plan to make things right once things are back to normalcy.

- Let them believe in you as you are all in this together.