When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life; making Lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable. Wikipedia

In these unprecedented time of the human race, survival has become at most important than anything else. In these times what is that you should look for to get your finances right? We have put up things to care for now when time is on your hand. You can look at these essential things to do which you always wanted to do.

1.Do I have an emergency fund

It is always suggested to have an emergency fund to meet contingencies which is accessible easily. It could be in your savings account kept separately marked, in liquid funds or perched in your locker etc. Assess if you can manage the expenses for the next 3-6 months if uncertainty continues for the regular income. Sometime back, we wrote an article on how to create an emergency fund. If you don’t have one, start now.

2.Time for money conversations

Today’s lockdown time can significantly be used to look for your finance house. Track monthly expenses, overview savings, investment portfolio. Take account of your investment planning. If you are the only person taking care of money matters, time at your hand is an opportunity to start conversations regarding money with your near & dear once, especially spouse. The more they get aware of family finances, they will gain confidence and comfort.

3. Should I extend the loan period, do I need to take loan moratorium

RBI has announced that you can take a holiday of 3 months on your EMI payment if required. Should you avail this facility, will it help you? If you don’t see income visibility, pay cut or no liquidity situation in your business or profession, you can look at taking the break in EMI as an opportunity. You need to apply for it through your bank, need to intimate before they cut EMI.

If you have ample liquidity, no threat to income we suggest not to avail the holiday as interest rates are lowest now.

4. Chance to increase – tax-saving investments. Time is till 30th June.

You usually get to invest in tax saving schemes till 31st march, because of the present situation that period has been extended to 30th June. If in case, you have not completed investment up to  1.5 lakhs under section 80C to avail tax benefit, you can still invest in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), Contribute to PPF or buy a National Savings Certificate (NSC).

5.Time to care for WILL writing

Estate planning – writing a WILL is essential to ensure wealth benefits for family members when you are not around. Somethings are crucial, but we don’t get time to think and do in our busy lives. The period now is an opportunity to look at Writing a Will. It requires a lot of thinking to decide what to do with your wealth – real estate, flats, land, gold, EPF etc. Whom do you want to bequeath it to, what do you want to leave a legacy for kids etc.?

6.Health Insurance

If you are not covered adequately by your employer, or you wanted to have sufficient health insurance over and above the existing one, now is an excellent time to think about Health Insurance. We do offer HDFC Ergo Health Insurance (erstwhile Apollo Health Insurance) and can assist you in buying this online.

These are the simple essentials needs to look for now to keep your financial house in order. These look very basic things to do for anyone. To give you an analogy I read recently–‘ we always cared for Fighter jets and other capabilities, but we forgot about Ventilators and more ICU beds’. Same goes with your money & investment planning.

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