How to survive the unending MCOs?
It griefs me to read stories of how people have been affected by the unending lockdown. If you are affected or potentially would be affected by the lockdown, how will you cope?
Granted, I am writing this from a place of comfort and it’s a far cry from experiencing the stress of not knowing what tomorrow brings. But I hope that sharing this view from a third party would help you see some light in the tunnel.
Review your situation
If you aren’t sure about where you are financial, the first thing to do is to reassess your situation. There are many ways to do that, here’s some question you need to answer:
- How much savings/investment you have?
- What are your commitments every month? Especially money-related ones, including installments, subscriptions, parents’ support.
- How much living expenses do you need for a month? Are there expenses that you can or need to reduce?
- Any other support system? Siblings, rich uncle, it’s time to re-connect.
Calculate how much do you need
Sum up your commitments and living expenses and times the number of months needed*.
How long will this prolong?* At the current vaccination rate, for Malaysia to achieve a 4-50% vaccination rate, it’ll likely be the end of Sep 2021. To reach 70-80% vaccination (two-dose complete), it’ll likely be February 2022. And given how much “damaged” have the policy made in the past, we might be looking at a worst-case scenario of Aug 2022 for the economy to run high again. It’s even harder to find a high-paying job.
This may sound impossible, but in early 2020, none of us would think that we need savings to last 15 months. Could your savings last till Oct 2021 or even Aug 2022? If yes, you can probably weather through this. If not, you might need to make some drastic decisions like finding a cheaper rent, putting the fourth mortgage house on sale, or signing loan moratorium papers. Remember, you are more likely to make bad decisions when things are bad.
Other support system that is not your friends and family
- Job hunting allowance (Elaun Mencari Pekerjaan) from PERKESO
- Apply for EIS if you are eligible
- i-withdrawal from EPF
Finding money in unlikely places
- Ewallet hacks: Combining 3-4 Ewallets with 3-5 credit cards, you can generate RM100-200 each month.
- 0% credit card installment: Useful if you already have the money and want to have extra cash flow
- Register as a micro business owner. There are a few benefits to doing this. First, you can sell your preloved with peace of mind (it’s against the law to sell online without registration). Second, there are special vouchers given by shopping platforms for sellers. Third, you can be eligible if there’s any support from the Government to business owners.
- If you own public listed shares, it’s now time to join all the virtual shareholding meetings at the comfort of your home and collect vouchers/door gifts.
- Volunteer your time in the vaccination center (and earn RM100-150 a day while doing that)
Raise the white flag / look for help
It’s okay to find help even if you are not desperate. Get help early and give help you can. Here’s a list of help you can get.
- Get your staple from the food bank. Find the location of food banks and more food banks on the map. Or browse the food bank list here. Cook using simple recipes from YouTube.
- Use Hotlink for free data + spend the Top-up for food.
- Need toiletries? Request one from Watson here.
- Call a helpline if you need someone to talk to. Befrienders or find a list here
- Share your woes in Clubhouse, SoulApp
- Raise funds in sites like GoFundMe
Take a different life path
In Chinese, the crisis is seen as a “danger with opportunity”. Life may not be the same but it does not necessarily mean destruction.
- Starting a business with little capital.
- Offering your service at Fiverr
- Find work at Upwork
- Pivot into the digital world by completing certification by Google
What you may want to avoid
I am not religious police but here’s a list of things that is, probability speaking, just very unlikely to succeed.
- Gambling as a way out
- Trading crypto or commodity with leverage
- Taking big loans to start a business you haven’t think about the past 2 years
- Quick rich scheme | Getting rich groups
Finally, stay happy with life
Idle mind or stressed up? Read unlimited at Scribd, use Brickit app to build new things with your lego cubes, watch the essential service hotline, or find the magical items to aid your social reentry.
Find free or cheap events to join, stay connected and being well.
I hope these helps.