This morning, our financial fears got real with the Central Bank floating the Egyptian Pound with the rate of 13 EGP to 1 USD. It was expected since Quarter 3 started with the dollar crisis emerging; resulting in import/export shortage and huge companies suspended their operations in Egypt (like General Motors, Royal Dutch Airlines KLM).
And now, forget about those large enterprises who escape in their last minute to survive, let’s talk practical, how will YOU survive the Egyptian Pound crisis?!
- First: Your savings:
While we are talking now, your savings are being devalued minute by minute, so here are some tricks to rescue your savings from being drowned by the Egyptian Pound floating:
- Convert your savings to something valued in USD:
Whether it be Gold, US dollars, stocks in the market, other stable high-value currency like Euro & Pound Sterling.
- DON’T trust fund your savings:
A trust fund is a great option, only when you are saving a stable currency, otherwise it’s a disaster. Instead, convert it into a stable currency.
- Be patient with stock markets:
Stocks are supposed to be a long-term investment, don’t stress over short-term losses, look for the great gains in the long run. Get help from experts and professionals to help you manage your savings the best way possible.
- Be cautious with real estate assets:
If you’re buying a real estate to use (either residential or commercial), this is not entirely a source of investment (till you leave that unit). But while investing in real estate these days be cautious, because real estate investment today won’t be so profitable, due to the devaluation of the official currency.
- Second: Your Expenses:
- Necessities: Consider options:
I can’t argue with necessities here, but find choices in the supermarket and make a simple calculation before you decide to buy value packs. Better to calculate the cost per item to make sure it’s a “value” pack for real.
- Life Style: From Sugar to Cars:
Now car prices are going crazy; you have to think of the alternatives before you decide to buy a car (which is considered a liability as its value decreases by time). Carpooling is not such a bad idea (is it?). As well as any other similar products (Remember that Mac Book Pro you were thinking of buying? well, rethink!).
On the other hand, Sugar, yes you know has Gone with the Wind and no one knows when we will still have a good lemonade at home. Alternatively, use honey or Stevia (if you can find any in Egypt!).
Similarly, get creative with other products and services, maybe carpooling is not a bad choice if you will offer a ride for someone who will share your gas costs or vice versa.
- Vacations: Keep traveling no matter what!
Well, I don’t need to tell you that choosing the fewer stars for your next vacation hotel is a wiser choice than spending all your vacation savings to get luxurious in the room you don’t see all day till you go to sleep.
And speaking of holidays, consider couch surfing while traveling abroad, there are plenty of websites to start with; with reasonable to cheap prices. Don’t make Egyptian Pound crisis limits your dreams to see the world!
- Third: Your Income:
- Your Job/Business:
In an unstable economy like this, you have to make sure you have a stable income, so whether it be a business you are running or a job you have, try to keep it as long as you can. Don’t quit your boring job until you have another firm offer. And that business you were thinking of starting, sleep on it, work on it as a side project but don’t start while the economy is crushing the big ones already!
- Extra/ Part-time Job:
If you are thinking of taking another job to support you financially, you should think of your work-life balance. It’s great to have extra cash in your pocket even it’s only for emergencies.
It’s believed that freelancing will take over, but in Egypt, it is still young. Clients are not totally familiar with the freelancing scheme of work. But, if you have a client or two, keep working with them, it’s always great to have an extra income. Just learn to make time works on your side.
Whether you are freelancing or getting an extra gig, keep an eye on your real investment in life; your family and friends.
Finally, I hope we all (including the Egyptian pound) survive this crisis and recover soon enough.
Spend less, earn more, save as you are spending on necessities.