Winter is finally here.
By now, you must have realized that the world is on an unprecedented pandemic crisis and global economies are being impacted.
What seems like a containment in one area of a globe has now spread to more than 190 countries, affecting millions and billions of people, both physically and financially.
To limit containment, many businesses are required to shut down or suspend their operations in order to discourage people from gathering closely together. This has led to many manufacturing companies delaying their productions, hence limiting the supply it has for the world.
With many businesses unable to project for certain how long the pandemic and shutdown will last, most have resorted to quick fixes such as letting their employees go either permanently or unpaid leaves.
During the shutdown, most companies will be struggling to cope with survival as they are not able to generate any revenues.
Most people are impacted as well because the majority will either have no jobs by now or they are forced to go on unpaid leaves which technically means no income for an extended period of time. The luckier ones are those that are still able to cling onto their jobs for now but will still be subjected to pay cuts.
What F.I.R.E Community has been preparing
Some of the people in our F.I.R.E community has been impacted by this unprecedented crisis as well.
Some lost their jobs while others get a pay cut, myself included.
Being the sole-breadwinner of the family, I can relate to the struggle because 20% of pay cuts can be bitter tough to swallow, let along those who are receiving no income at all during this period.
Most of the survival expenses such as groceries, mortgages, utilities, electricity, and phone bills are still running on a normal or extended rate. The only saving grace is that discretionary expenses such as traveling and entertainment are shut down close to zero.
But it is still tough.
I feel the heat.
But I think most people on the street feel it worst.
First, the majority of Singaporeans do not stash a sufficient amount of savings to tide them through periods where they do not receive any income.
According to the research study by Business Insiders (Link Here) conducted just late last year before the Covid, half of all Singaporeans do not stash at least 6 months’ worth of emergency funds. One in five doesn’t even have 1 month worth of expenses in working capital.
That is a staggering number especially considering a first-world nation we are today.
Yes, the government has temporary measures to assist those who are unemployed by giving them $500 worth of temporary relief fund but that’s likely just enough for basic groceries for a couple of weeks. It certainly won’t be sufficient if you have a larger group of family members.
Another study which was conducted last year by Business Insider (Link Here) also shows that one in three among all Singaporeans do not invest and grow their money.
I am assuming here that the group of people who falls under the subset of not having emergency funds do not invest. So they are likely the same group of people.
For most of us who have been engaged in the F.I.R.E community or discussions all these years, we can call ourselves fortunate.
Everything that we’ve prepared for in the past few years or decades comes to this winter moment like this.
We’ve built ourselves a system of resilience of having sufficient savings and emergency funds, even if that means forgoing our frequent consumption of expensive coffees or bubble teas.
We’ve built for ourselves multiple sources of diversified income through side-gigs or weekend jobs so that not only will we receive more income but also build upon our capabilities to do multiple tasks at different job offerings.
We’ve also looked at our expenses category very carefully and that means trying to get the best deal out of every big spending such as using the best credit cards for utilities, improving our cashflow through deferment of big ticket items such as mortgage rates and individual tax payments and trying to get the best deal everywhere. Very Niao indeed!
We’ve also put ourselves in situations that enable us to take favorable action in unfavorable market conditions such as cheaper valuations so that we can reap and sow the fruit of labour when everything else is back to normal operating condition.
These are not overnight preparation.
These are years of intensification fortifying our mental capabilities, tuning trial and errors, and instilling hard work and discipline into our day-to-day.
Everything we’ve prepared for in the past during Summer, Autumn and Spring all goes down into one Winter season.
We are better prepared today because we’ve prepared better than the majority of people.
Thanks for reading.
If you like our articles, you may follow our Facebook Page here.