Can You Storm-Proof Your Wallet?

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Aug 13 2018 08:28 AM

People use improvised transportation at a flooded street in Dagupan City on July 23, 2018. ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- When it rains in Metro Manila, it doesn’t just pour, it floods.

If you’re one of many who suffered being stuck in traffic for hours these recent weeks, or had to walk from knee-high to waist-high floodwaters as we experienced one monsoon or typhoon after another, you’re not only wasting time or risking your health. Your wallet is also taking a beating.

What may be a 30-minute commute from work will take twice or 3 times longer so you could be paying a much higher cab fare or your car turns into a gas guzzler. Exposure to the weather also increases your chances of catching colds, or coughs or worse flu. A visit to the doctor, prescription for antibiotics, the list goes on for additional expenses.

And since the wet season runs until October, we can all look forward to at least 10 more weeks of being inconvenienced. Or you can better prepare and shield your savings from taking more hits. Here are five suggestions on how to make your wallet weather-ready.

1.Check with your doctor. An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Schedule a regular check-up with your doctor who can suggest vitamins or vaccinations so you are less susceptible to viruses that may be going around. A good time for a medical consultation would be around June just as the wet season begins.

2. Invest in medical insurance. Most employers today offer this as a benefit but if yours don’t or you are an entrepreneur or work freelance, consider getting one. There are now several providers you can choose from, and make sure to get a package that will address your needs, e.g. free consultations, medicine reimbursement, hospitalization benefit, annual exams and more. With medical insurance, you can better plan your expense, say P500 monthly, instead of getting blindsided by medical bills if you or a family member falls ill.

3. Try working from home. Mobility has become a buzz word in improving employee productivity. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, talk to your boss about working from home whenever the weather forecast predicts heavy rainfall. You save on the commute, you spend your time working instead of trapped in the bus, train or car for hours, plus less chances of you calling in sick the day or week after exposure to bad weather.

4. Protect your assets with the right coverage. If you own a car or a house, check that you have insurance and it is up-to-date. The last thing you want is to miss the renewal date and to find out the insurance has lapsed when you need it. With flooding now a regular occurrence, read the fine print to see if your car and home plus its contents are insured from any damage from flooding.

5. Build your emergency fund. We all have to cope with bills and expenses but that’s not an excuse not to have savings and an emergency fund. Financial experts recommend an emergency fund that can cover at least 6 months’ worth of expenses. This should give you wiggle room in the event you lose your job, or someone in the family gets sick.

If you can tick all these five boxes, you can boldly face the next typhoon or monsoon that comes your way, and hopefully stay dry with your wallet intact.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.