Why You Need to Buy These 4 Things in a Bad Economy


Nina, 29, was shocked to hear that the company she works for had just laid off several staff at once. As a mother of a toddler, she was afraid that her position might be jeopardized because of the drastic change. The good news is, despite the slowing down of economy, her job is secure and she still has enough emergency fund.

Local media reported in December that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) cut forecast for economic growth in Indonesia by 1 percentage point to 4.8% year-on-year in 2015 and 5.3% year-on-year in 2016. This simply means the economy will be slower next year, and we should prepare ourselves and our families for economic hardship.

If you are in danger of losing your job, having cash will be important, so keep your spending to a minimum. If you still have debt, make it a priority to pay it off within a few months. You need to set a target to be debt-free. If you have not had emergency fund, start saving each month until you have 6 months of your monthly expenses placed in your bank account – not in gold or other types of investment that are not liquid.

However, if you are secure and have some cash available, here are a few things you can spend on even when the economy is challenged:

1. Upgrading your skills

Now is a good time to acquiring new skills or upgrading them. It does not have to be an MBA or a full-time course. Learning a new language online or a course brushing up on Photoshop could become very useful.

There are a number of online courses that you can look into, e.g. Squline which offers Mandarin classes starting from Rp 590,000 a month, Udemy which offers web development courses starting for as little as $15 per level, Coursera, and many more. These courses would only require your time and eagerness to learn – it can be done at your most convenient time and from anywhere.

If you can spare 1-2 hours a day for Facebook or Instagram, you surely can do this, right?

2. Health insurance

With the uncertainty of employment in the near future, getting your own health insurance becomes more important than ever. If something happens to your job, you will also lose the health coverage offered by your company. Thus, the best way to prepare for this is by getting your own coverage.

Start small with BPJS Health, and get more information on private insurance products that would give you greater protection based on your current life stage.

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