BY CATHERINE SOPLET
As this global pandemic continues to affect our region, do you find yourself spending less, or is this huge and sudden change in the economy weighing on your financial stability? With the increase in unemployment and the vast amount of businesses that are closed, many small business owners are asking themselves how they can survive this ongoing dilemma.
Whether people are going into additional debt, that probability would suggest it’s likely to change because the coronavirus shows no sign of slowing down as yet. This calamity will bring hard choices to people. What’s more alarming is the potential job losses and income losses with people already carrying debts before this virus all started. Janet Robinson is a local assembly line worker, and she sees the current situation looking a bit different than most.
“At this time, I find that I’m saving a bit more. Before, I used to struggle a little to keep up. I take the bus to work, and it’s now free because of this virus, so i’m saving on bus fare,” Robinson told Peel Weekly News earlier this week. “I’m only going from home to work these past few weeks. Also, eating out on weekends and buying clothing is not happening now, so I’m coming out of this with a bit more saved up,” Robinson said. While some people will find a plus in their financial situation, for others, it might be more complicated. “A lot of people are facing substantial financial uncertainty,” said Patrick Bloomfield, a licenced insolvency trustee at Rusinek & Associates Inc.
“My office is open, and we are still working because we fall in the essential service. We have bigger obligations now, reports and other things that have to be done to comply with the bankruptcy and solvency act.” The office has had an increase of telephone calls, fax, emails and correspondence, as opposed to a typical in person meeting that would occur, but the firm is still assisting people who need help. ”What probably makes sense is for individuals to look at where they are at, look at where they may be at, and put together a couple of models and plans to address things according to what model unfolds,” Bloomfield said. “There will be a lot of economic uncertainty in the months to come, but I think the way to go is to develop a model just the way the government has in terms of modelling how COVID-19 would spread if nothing was done, if we do what we’re doing if we were stricter,” he said.
“I think individuals should consider exactly the same thing in respect of their finances.” Bloomfield also highlighted that only a well thought-out plan can guide anyone through this crisis. “It would be wise for individuals to take a little bit of time now and consider how things might unfold and develop a plan around a best case scenario, a less than best case scenario and a worse case scenario,” he explained. His expectation is that people will really start to see that the problems that stem from this pandemic by this fall, if not next year.
For a lot of people who are already living in debt giving their resources, He also predicts we are in for more uncertain times at least for the next 24 months ahead. Financial consultant Amanda Malcolm told Peel weekly News, “My income have decreased; however, my savings has increased as a result of staying indoors and I’m not spending on leisure items. I’m handling debt by charging less on my credit card, so the pandemic has given me free time to create debt repayment solutions.” Now is the time to put your personal expenses under the microscope and this will help you to see what your financial world looks like six to 12 months from now.
One needs to have a cash flow to keep a roof over their head and put food on the table, and also to adequately look after yourselves and your families. Figure out how you are going to address other financial burdens such as debt or whatever else it is.