The Pandemic & Money

Image Credits: gfmag.com

In the last 5 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted five important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational and health. Let’s explore the sixth pillar, the financial aspect in this blog post. The financial pillar consist of four aspects earnings, expenses, savings and investments. As in the past five blog posts let me describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

With the announcement of the pandemic, cases starting to rise and lockdowns getting implemented, many of my clients decided to postpone sessions that were scheduled. In addition some of the industries my clients were in, specially the apparel industry was having orders getting cancelled, resulting in impending reduction in their cashflows. In the past too, some companies first eliminated people development budgets when such challenges arose. All this made me realise that I need to focus on planning my finances.

Firstly it was important to take stock of the income. I had discussions with all the clients who had scheduled assignments and figured out what projects were going to continue online and what projects were going to be put on hold for review later. This helped me to do a rough income forecast for the next 6 months. Then we brainstormed within the team about the emerging needs of existing and potential clients and decided to create online products to help with strategic consultancy for crisis management, virtual leadership, virtual team-working and anxiety, stress, focus and energy management for individuals. These products started generating revenue two months later.

Next it was important to take stock of personal and company expenses. All expenses were examined in the areas of essential for sustenance, non-essential expenses and commitments to banks. The essentials were budgeted for, the non-essentials were dropped and commitments to banks were re-scheduled through negotiation. Some of the non-essential personal expenses such as holidays, eating out and luxury purchases were automatically eliminated due to establishments that provided these services were closed or inaccessible. We also decided to spend money where required, specially in the online space.

Once income and expenses were budgeted it was clear how much was remaining for savings and investments. Since cash was essential and risk levels were high due to the unknown, I focused on interest generating cash investments and avoided share market investments. It was too short to focus on new rental income but I ensured that existing rental income continued. Investment was in my own business to create online content and online delivery methods.

Five months after the challenges began, my finical situation is stable, providing peace of mind. I find that this is the best possible time to to stress test the core of what I teach (purposeful living) using methods from Mastery of Self (Prayer, mediations, learning, exercises, Neuro linguistics programming {NLP}, Transactional Analysis {TA}, Releasing, Mediation, Yoga etc.). It is giving me a deeper understanding of purposeful living and reinforcing my belief about its importance.

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