How Can The Millennials Deal With This Crisis, Shortage Of Funds, And Job Loss Amid Covid-19?
Millennials have often been criticized as a generation that spends more and saves less, and this pandemic might prove to be a coming of age story for them. Fearing salary cuts and layoffs, believers in the "here and now" have started planning for the future and the "buy now, pay later" mentality is being fast-replaced by "save for a rainy day" mentality.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has been causing havoc indiscriminately, millennials have suffered a lot because of it. The service industry, which has been a major victim of the pandemic, is coincidentally also the industry that gives employment to a large number of millennials. Thus, the total shut down of industries like travel, tourism, and hospitality has plunged the generation into a state of panic and fear.
The demand has taken a steep fall and company ledgers are running red. At such a time, it has become difficult for organizations, especially in the MSME sector, to maintain their workforce
According to a survey that was conducted in February of this year, millennials overspend between Rs 400/- to Rs 1300/per week, which is a habit that they'll have to check to survive the current scenario. Although the millennials aren't known for their financial planning, they have started analyzing their finances seriously. Many are under tremendous pressure as they're facing job loss or salary cut on one end and have to find some way of paying the EMIs for the loans.
No One Went Broke By Saving
Experts are suggesting that in order to see through the pandemic without plunging into a financial crisis, one must have savings that would cover at least six months of expenses. This is achievable only by taking every expense under the microscope and purging anything that isn't essential. Since this situation has forced people to look closely at their financial situation and their spending habits, it has led to the realization that it isn't the necessary expenditure but the extravagant lifestyle that is causing financial difficulties.
Being thrifty and avoiding every non-essential expense is a good habit to inculcate as it gives you a safety cushion to rely on during times of financial difficulty. Regardless of whether you're facing a crisis situation or not, you should try to save 30% of your earnings every month. This will help you build a strong safety net.
Showcase Yourself As An Asset To The Employer
The demand has taken a steep fall and company ledgers are running red. At such a time, it has become difficult for organizations, especially in the MSME sector, to maintain their workforce. Employees are being laid off left and right and the idea of job security has been sealed in a box and stashed away for now. At such a time, you need to reassure your organization that you are an asset. You can accomplish this by working with what you have to deliver your best for the company.
For instance, the nature of the job for many people is not suited to the work-from-home environment. But if you cope with the situation well, and give your best, your efforts would definitely be recognized. Not to mention that this is also a great time to secure your position in an organization once the crisis resolves. People always tend to remember who stood by their side during difficult times.
Invest In Low-Risk/Risk-Free Assets
Now, this wouldn't work for everyone. Naturally, if you are surviving on the bare minimum, you cannot and should not think about investing. But if you have money to spare, investing might not be such a bad idea.
Now the important question is, where should you invest?
There are two ways of looking at this. The first idea would be to invest in the stock market. As asinine as it seems, there is reasoning behind it. Since the market is pretty bad right now, many shareholders are panic-selling shares of some really good organizations at throwaway prices. If the time has taught us one thing, it is that all crises look much smaller in retrospect.
What happens is that even if the major organizations lose business in tough times, they always tend to get back on their feet once things become better. We have seen it time and again in our country. So, if you go for long-term investment, you would be able to generate serious profits on the shares that are available pretty cheap right now. It's all about identifying the right company to invest in.
Another way of playing it safer would be to invest in low-risk assets like gold or land. A word of caution though gold isn't completely risk-free either, and a good example of that would be the fall that the gold prices took after hitting a peak in 2011. A fixed deposit is also a safe investment, but the growing disparity between the interest rate and the inflation rate would only end up eating into your savings. Therefore, investing in low-risk assets is a better option.
There are some other options as well, like trying to find alternate sources of income, but that is easier said than done especially in the current scenario when hiring has been frozen in plenty of organizations. What we know for sure is that the best strategy among all these is to cut down on unnecessary expenses that only add to the luxury and save as much as we can.