A premium African financial services and solutions company, Old Mutual Limited, has warned citizens against making irresponsible financial decisions during coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis and must not buy "more than is needed".
Chiluzi: Act responsibly
Financial Education Specialist at Old Mutual Malawi Limited, Benard Chiluzi, has said this in a statement made available to Nyasa Timesas shoppers have started taking to piling their trolleys with vast amounts of supplies in supermarkets.
"Countries are now going into lockdown due to the life threatening pandemic and almost everyone is justifiably shaken.
"Nevertheless, it is important to avoid rushing into decisions, especially as it relates to finances because it is hard to predict how long the virus will be among us," says Chiluzi.
He notes that the urge to stock up on groceries and food items is natural given the uncertainty and anxiety the pandemic has caused.
But Chiluzi advises Malawians to resist that urge because over-spending could absorb their financial wallet.
"Retailers are unlikely to run out of stock because of the excessive demand caused by the panic of the pandemic.
"And much of what you pile into your trolley, such as perishable products could go to waste especially with electricity load-shedding still lingering.
"Your financial wellbeing could be severely compromised if you have not planned or budgeted properly," he says.
Chiluzi has also reminded Malawians of the impact of the early and prolonged closure of schools on their pockets.
He observes that this step by the government, aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, means children will be home for longer periods.
"This may result in increased spending to help keep them fed, entertained and occupied. It will also have a ripple effect on the rate at which household items get used up.
"Snacks, cleaning products, water and electricity generally last longer during school terms. In an event the pandemic threat is over, there will also be need for parents to provide boarding school students with travel costs back to school which should be planned," says Chiluzi.
In the statement, Chiluzi further advises consumers to avoid taking out loans to buy in bulk and consider buying food items that will last longer.
He also urges people to cultivate a culture of responsible consumption, saying money, food, water and electricity must be used sparingly during these uncertain times.
"Other countries were forced to completely shut down to limit local transmissions of the virus, therefore responsible consumption cannot be overemphasised. Avoid any form of wastage," he says.
Adds Chiluzi: "Take a long term view when it comes to investing. Do not get tempted to disinvest because of panic. Markets are generally volatile during uncertain times but this is temporary. Remain focused on your financial goal.
"Check your insurance and medical aid. Make sure you know and understand what medical and insurance cover you have in place and whether it applies during a global pandemic. If you do not have, plan to arrange one".
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