A Reuters file image.

Reduced lockdown expenses help people ‘save’ money

People say they can use these funds to help those who have been laid off

APP April 27, 2020
ISLAMABAD: With schools and major commercial markets closed along with parks and other outdoor recreational activities, people are staying home a lot more than they ever have. An unintended consequence of this lack of activity has been the money which people have found themselves not spending and thus making significant ‘savings’.

"I am lucky to work as normal from home for a company that has shown no sign of stopping work despite the ongoing lockdown in the country," said Hussain, a human resources manager at a multinational company based in the federal capital.

"I am being paid what I always get paid, but the thing is that since I have been locked down at home, I am saving a major portion of my salary because I have nothing to spend it on as everything, including stores of clothing, shoes are closed," he said.

Restaurant hopping a favourite pastime, the executive said that event they are closed, leaving him with no option other than to eat at home.

While there are options to purchase goods online, Hussain asked, "why should I purchase things when I cannot go out to utilize them". "When you are at home, with uncertainty about the pandemic and of when the lockdown will be over, it seems ridiculous to purchase what you cannot wear," Hussain added. However, he conceded that he was among the lucky ones not to be furloughed or face pay cuts as the country witnesses a recession.

Amid the thousands who are facing job insecurities while struggling to pay for basic expenses such as utilities, rent, and even daily use items there are still hundreds of people in the country who have not had to face cuts.

Those working in the public sector or working from home in the private sector, they are being paid regularly without any cuts in their salary. However, they have nothing to spend their money on, not even regular costs such as commute, shopping for items such as clothing, footwear, cosmetics, jewellery, and dining out.

Hussain, however, expressed his shock at the amount of money he has managed to save during the lockdown, adding that this could be used to help those who are not as lucky.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2020.


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