In light of the negative impacts and repercussions of the Corona virus on various economic and financial fields, many matters and data have changed in our daily life, starting with the expressions and features of government officials who have not faced a similar crisis before, through the exacerbation of the challenges and difficulties of the operational business environment for all types of companies operating in stocks and investment Real estate, financial services, communications, transportation, advertising, etc., right down to the very simple and modest monthly plans of the female heads of households themselves.
Little by little, many of the details of the scene overcrowded by the increasing financial burdens have changed, as the monthly household needs bill before Corona is no longer similar to its counterpart at the present time, especially since most salaries have shrunk and shrunk like the revenues and incomes of oil and non-oil countries, while the prices of most food commodities And the basic materials went up crazy at times.
Time of disability
While prices were inflating and rising, the savings capacities – despite their margins – were “dwarfing”, as household budgets slowly entered the time of deficit through the broad section on the basis of “the outside is much more than the inside.”
The large deficits in the public budgets of most countries – especially the Gulf ones, due to the fall in oil prices to levels unprecedented several years ago – withdrew on the same family budgets, with a fundamental and detailed difference represented by the difference in the size of the numbers and the huge number of zeros between them.
Faced with this somewhat new reality, both the Minister of Finance in the large government and the Minister of Finance in the small government (the housewife) decided to adjust and tighten the belt of expenditures and rationalize consumption as much as possible, in an attempt to preserve the already eroding revenues with the aim of reducing the spiral of losses escalating day after day .
Resorting to savings
Umm Fahd – a Palestinian migrant who has lived in Kuwait for nearly 45 years and works in a beauty clinic – says, “My salary has been cut off completely for 4 months due to the forced closure of the clinic, as part of government measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.”
While her husband – who works as an accountant in a construction company – was paid during that period half of his salary, which is only 750 dinars (2,400 dollars), meaning that the family income was not more than 375 dinars (1200 dollars).
Similar to the finance ministers’ resorting to reserve funds to finance expenditures, Umm Fahd explains to Al-Jazeera Net that her task in managing household affairs throughout the past period was not easy, as she had more than once to use her savings and her husband’s savings to be able to pay the rent and monthly bills, in addition to securing the requirements and needs. Daily food, drink and other basic and essential expenses.
The fiftieth lady asserts that she deliberately reduced the quantities of meat, fish, vegetables and fruits that she used to buy in the pre-Corona era, as well as dispensing and refraining from purchasing some materials and other commodities that may be placed in the luxury category under the current circumstances, such as nuts and sweets, in order to compress the monthly bill. And reduce it more and more.
This is what the Minister of Finance is doing, who also rushes during crises to issue circulars to all ministries, government agencies and departments, stressing the need to rationalize consumption, control expenses, prevent the adoption of a new budget for any future projects and freeze annual rewards for employees, in addition to stopping some projects that can be abandoned and postponed until later.
Umm Ziyad’s tactic is also not much different from Umm Fahd’s plans in managing her home affairs. The Syrian woman, whose husband lost his job 3 months ago due to the severe economic crisis, is trying in various ways to control monthly expenses at a rate of nearly 40%, as she says to Al-Jazeera Net.
Umm Ziyad – who left her job as a teacher long ago to devote himself to her home and children – states that “the family’s modest savings in the bank helped her family to withstand to a large extent,” but that did not prevent her from borrowing and borrowing from her neighbors in the hope that she would be able to pay off this accumulated debt when Things will get back to normal in the near future.
The Syrian woman’s trick is also resorted to by the Minister of Finance, under the name of bonds or sukuk, provided that he is forcibly paying interest from the state treasury in exchange for these debts, while Umm Ziyad does not do so due to the strength of her relationship with her neighbors.
Monetization of assets
For her part, Sawsan – when asked about how she dealt with the many repercussions brought about by the Corona crisis, foremost of which is the decline in income – tells her story with the purchase of the “yellow metal”, saying, “I was keen every 4 or 5 months to buy any piece of gold instead of spending My money is to buy clothes, food, fast food, etc., and I found these jewelry a specific good for me in this crisis. Whenever I need an amount of money to pay my dues, I sell a gold coin to fulfill it. “
On this path, the Minister of Finance, who resorted to liquidating assets from real estate, shares and stakes in local and international companies in which the state had previously invested in the prosperous days, goes on to obtain “cash” in order to pass the difficult stage in any way, provided that he restores his country’s investment portfolio again after returning To a time of economic recovery with the improvement in oil prices.
There are many points of similarity between the Minister of Finance’s relentless pursuit of controlling expenditures, improving revenues and reducing the deficit in his country’s budget in light of the repercussions of the Corona crisis, and the efforts of every housewife trying to rationalize expenses and daily and monthly expenses and managing her home affairs to overcome the current ordeal and challenges with the least damage and losses.