How to build an emergency fund in Covid-19 economy

We have been harping on building an emergency fund for the last few months.


It is the total liquid funds at your disposal divided by average monthly expenses. It gives you an idea about the period for which you can survive without the regular income.

A finer point here is to include only essential expenses – cost of living as we choose to call it, rather than your normal lifestyle expenses. It helps to stretch the funds for a longer period of time.

For sometime, let us skip the controversy on whether the emergency fund should be sufficient for 3 months, 6 months or a year’s expenses. Decide what is feasible for you, and move ahead.

The employment and emoluments scenario is gradually improving. Yet, we know that we need to be prepared for similar force de majeure events in future.


There were knee-jerk reactions when people stopped investing in Systematic Investment Plans to create liquidity. One needs to always check the cost:benefit aspect of a financial move.

  • What are the returns you get from your present investment?
  • How many hours/days will it take to withdraw money from that investment if needed. Does it necessarily have to be lying in a savings account with a low interest rate of 3.5%?


1. I don’t have one, but I don’t need one.

Great! March on, yet it may make sense to start building one.

2. I don’t have one, but badly need it

  • Cut down on all unnecessary expenses – gym memberships, subscriptions which can be discontinued, shopping for clothes and accessories, ordering food online. There could be a few others, if not this. There are plenty of free knowledge resources floating around to replace these addictions. Tweak your lifestyle.


  • Negotiate with your creditors to reschedule repayment – credit cards, home loans, vehicle loans, personal loans etc.


  • Check your idle assets – unused property, furniture, gadgets – can you rent it out?


  • Can you get a loan against your investments? – National Savings Certificates, Kisan Vikas Patra, Fixed Deposits, insurance policies etc.  Remember that these loans come in the form of overdraft limits, and you will pay interest only for the amount utilised. One has to bear the cost of documentation, which is miniscule.


  • Can you withdraw money from Employee Provident Fund, or take an overdraft against PF from your employer?


  •  Can you get an interest-free loan from your friends/relatives?


  • Do you own a printer or software to make e-books/videos/elearning courses? Start selling services to help the large majority working online. You may register on freelancing sites like Fiverr, Upworks, Freelancer etc.


  • If you run a business, get student interns to work free for 2-3 months. Sites like Internshala may be of help.


  • Are you good at creating content? Start selling.


  • Do you have a skill you can teach others, to earn extra money?


Remember the suicides after PMC Bank was placed under moratorium? Do you think they would never have recovered their money, or found the means to survive till the money was recovered?

It is more about a mind-set.

What if these people had diversified investments and spread it over different asset classes?

You need that assurance, the peace of mind, the comfort level that you and your family are safe. The rest takes care of itself, as pathways emerge.

Create that comfort level, but not by keeping idle cash at home, or money in low-interest savings accounts and mobile wallets.

Keep money where it is accessible.

Speak to your banker or financial advisor about how long will it take to retrieve the amount.

Educate your family on how they should go about getting funds, if something untoward happens. Reassure them that all is well.

Then, go ahead and enjoy the family time together. You may not get it again…


Wildflowers – A Challenge in Covid19

Leadership as a Foundation Series

While I completed my home chores getting ready for the next day after my son has fallen asleep, at the unearthly hour of 21:30 hours my mobile buzzed with a message on WhatsApp. It announces “I would request you to send him regularly to online class. His studies are getting hampered so also his social skills….. He was becoming disciplined and a good student, responsible too….. I don’t want him to worsen again”, my son’s class teacher’s message to me.

Wow, flamboyant and eyes widening every nanosecond, I re-read the message to check my comprehension of the message communicated by his teacher and in a manner by his school as well. With appropriate neuroscience training on my side, I have been striving to be a friend of my kids, a go-to person who is there to support and hold them, letting them “Be” in the discoveries of who they truly are and want to be. And suddenly, out of the blue, I get a reminder from his teacher that my son is not shaping up!

The expectation listing weighing on my son, as highlighted by his teacher, (me getting anxious and then angry, human emotions) mother’s possessive mindset, my child is best.

1. He has to be “disciplined” (I don’t know what that means)

2. He is in UKG and has to be “responsible in studies” (wonder whether adults show responsibility for their own studies!)

3. His social skills are taught in school with 40 students cramped in a corner class while there is no place to stand up without pushing the tables or chairs (my son unfortunately has been shunted to be a back bencher by his teacher – rather unfair gesture, I thought)

And to add on, words poured out in the mind with ease, the teacher’s behavior in the matrix of outcome – behavioral incapacitation she is rending to each child and its even percolating to the family…..her screaming self and the unjust ways in which she handles disagreements. These comprehensive pointers all making an entry to the #supercomputer #memory brain in nano-jet-speed in less than a minute moving. Me just staring in disbelief at the audacities of the species calling themselves “Teachers”. (Truly understanding the challenges that have been upscalled by Covid19 pandemic crisis)

This is the normal emotional outburst that comes when we have no clarity in our goals for ourselves and especially for our kids. The best way to know what is working towards a prepared child is the fun and joy he gets from the mundane stuffs. It is good to #model, the example of the family members, especially parents, siblings and people in the community. A good way to start is instilling a #strongfoundation of task and problem solving orientation, letting the child completing his/her chores in the house, enforcing the helping, supporting #compassion and delegating approaches around the house.

Kids today have become the laggard in performance, like a robots for specific coded quick fixes of tasks. I don’t understand, as its one yard stick for all the evaluations and understanding of capabilities. The humankind has a colorful horizon of behaviors, expansive across all hues of the rainbow. If the way we do the selection of the creme’de layer from all youngsters, the ones with promising potentials are left in the dark back benches. Id it is still acceptable in every respected successful and growing institution of education, which is an industry in itself, the downfalling symptoms are visible in the workforce today.

The need system, concept method is the need of the hour to revive education system and purpose to be aligned with the new needs of the workforce of today’s & future generation. Today’s need is to rediscover the #creative #growthmindset of the children. To bring it back is to beneficially use the acronym:

A – Acknowledge

F – Friend

F – Favour

I – Influence

R – Respect

M – Motivate

We must acknowledge the behavioral patterns displayed by the kid at all times. One must strive to instill a calm and approachable friendly presence for them to discuss their challenges (as no child or adult I know, doesn’t want to improve). We are to be ready to bent down to their level to understand the pain of their feet in their shoe, believe and have faith in them to favour them first. We should aspire to lead by example, getting your hands mussy in the play pit to influence kids towards the desired better choices of behavioral outcomes. The kids are absolute happy beings, respect their sovereignty. And last but surely not the least, we absolutely need to encouraging positivity goes a long way with good learnings instead of the tagging, bad mouthing and name calling.

#ENN4Kids  #GiftOfChoice #PowerOfVoice

#ParentingBrainHacks  #MSquare #LearningSPark

An Open Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Could not stop writing this letter to you. With hope and positivity I am looking up to you all as the future of mankind is being raised at homes.

During the past five months, the life as we knew it, has been changing so fast in front of us all that we could feel the change happening and could relate so well with the age old wisdom that – Change is the only constant.

As the things were taking different shapes in front of us, among other things, we could also see Education emerging in its new avatar. The traditional teaching has been replaced by Online Teaching and the roles of parents and teachers have merged.

In such a scenario, I have few questions to ask you all.

  • Are you ready to accept the change? (which is still going on)
  • Did you ever wonder what will be the new scenario of education?
  • What will be your role in the hybrid model (a combination of online and offline teaching once the schools open) of education?
  • Are you ready to home school your children?
  • Did you ever visualize a world without schools?
  • Could you have done something to collaborate with the teachers of your children?
  • What could you have added to the learning of your children during this opportunity (though forced one) when you were available at home with your children?
  • What is more important?

Basic competence in reading, writing arithmetic along with life skills


high proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic without any life skills?

  • Did you try to coach your children basic life skills for physical survival, like cooking, washing, cleaning etc. other than studies?
  • Did you coach emotional stability, courage and resilience through your talks and actions to your children?
  • Could you have done something to make the situation better?

Try answering these questions very honestly. I am sure your answers to yourself will help you to find out the meaning of education and identify your role in the education of your children.

Remember parents, education is not what happens inside the four walls of the class room, education is all about our experiences and leanings out of them.

This corona time was an excellent opportunity to make the most of such experiences happening to all of us together.

Did you make the most of this opportunity? If yes, keep it up. If not, you still have time to think over and make the most of the time available. Nobody is yet sure as to when the schools are reopening. The schools open or don’t, the life goes on. So the learning for life must go on.

Wishing you all courage and resilience.

Truly Yours

Anju Arora