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How To Protect Your Finances During a Pandemic

This is a guest post by financial expert Valerie Lum, CPA

Covid-19 has been a huge wake-up call for many of our finances. My inbox has been flooded with clients and friends sharing their financial struggles— from not being able to pay rent and bills, to challenges with caring for their kids while working from home, and everything in between. Not only has the pandemic wreaked havoc on some of our wallets. It has also created a lot of emotional and psychological stress on our psyches.

I know my clients and friends are not alone.

In March 2020, 500,000 Canadians applied for EI during the lockdown. At the exact same time last year, only 30,000 Canadians sought out these services. Is this a sign that a lot of people are struggling financially? Possibly.

I know when I first immigrated to Canada five years I was struggling.

After migrating to Canada, I lost 30 percent of my money when I converted my hard-earned savings to Canadian dollars. What a frustrating memory. As a newcomer, the Canadian bank advised me to put money into my RRSPs. It sounded like a great idea, however, the bank did not inform me about the consequences. One of them being tax implications after withdrawing money later on. I was so upset when I lost the money and angry that I did not have the knowledge to protect my hard-earned finances.

Why would I want to put myself in ANOTHER position that would cause me to lose money in the future? Thankfully, I was introduced to the Financial Literacy Campaign in 2015. I knew that to have a better future I needed to educate myself on how money works in Canada. The Financial Literacy Campaign taught me how to set up personal insurance in case I get sick or pass away, create an emergency fund in case I'm in need of extra finances, and set up a retirement fund that I contribute to monthly. Now, if something happens to me my family will not be left in financial destitute. The strong financial house I built withstood the current storm of COVID-19. I feel so empowered that I now have the knowledge to build my financial base and survive a financial pandemic. I believe all women need to learn for themselves and not rely on their spouses.

COVID lockdown was a good wake up call for our finances. This is a crucial time for you to ensure that your finances are in order before the next economic crisis occurs. In 2008 we had a recession, 2020 was COVID-19, and who knows what other financial obstacles the future brings.

If you would like to learn more about protecting your family and your future savings, please call Valerie Lum (CPA) at 604-442-8868.

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