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Efficient Buying: Essential Must-Haves during the Quarantine Period (and the Nonessentials to Avoid)

The current pandemic brought many changes, not just in our country, but throughout the world as well. Our lifestyles, our work routines, our commute, and even the way we spend our money has dramatically changed overnight. Understandably, it may take a while before people can fully adjust to these changes. It is never an easy task, after all. But out of all the things that people need to change and improve on, the aspect which involves financials will always be the one to garner resistance among others. People have a certain relationship with money that makes it very difficult to both attain and maintain. On one hand, people always have the urge to earn more money while dreading the hard work that goes with it, on the other hand, they tend to forget all of that hardship once they already have the cash in their pockets, going for expensive purchases rather than the most affordable ones. This is an evident case of a person’s bad habit, lack of discipline, and shortsightedness.

Admittedly, the current pandemic became somewhat of a wakeup call. People began spending less, setting aside a few hundred for upcoming purchases and planning out the essentials that would be re-stocked for the foreseeable future. However, even if people were to save up, it still wouldn’t be enough to survive the never-ending quarantine period. Yes, you did the right thing by not emptying out your bank account, but that would amount to nothing if you’d still avail expensive and unnecessary items. “What are these unnecessary items?” you may ask. Look no further than our list of essential must-haves and must-avoid purchases during the quarantine period.

The Essential Must-Haves:
1) Disinfectants and Hygiene Products
When we say disinfectants, they’re the usual lineup of products that are manufactured to deal with a huge amount of germs and microbes. Your bottle of isopropyl alcohol, no matter how small it is, can definitely pack a punch when it comes to getting rid of the surrounding germs. The same thing can be said about other cleaning agents such as soap, hand wipes (the ones formulated in rubbing alcohol), bleach (for your home surfaces), and detergents (a bucket full of them may be used to wash away dirty surfaces).

2) Fruits and Vegetables
The riskiest thing about the rampant virus is that no cure has been found yet. Neither has there been any vaccine either, so everyone’s survival would all really depend on the strength of a person’s immune system. If you have a strong immune system, then you’d at least have a fighting chance when going up against this deadly virus. The same thing can’t be said about everyone, unfortunately, which is why fruits and vegetables are a must-have essential part of everyone’s meals. We’ve all been taught by our parents and teachers from a very young age to value nutritious food, to always include them in our daily meals, and to choose them over junk foods. This lesson definitely made its presence felt, especially now that we need our immune system to function like one of those ancient armors we see in our favorite historical shows. A knight is only strong as his valiant sword and his strong, shiny armor, and unfortunately for us, the only thing standing right between us and the virus, is that shiny armor (the immune system), with no sword (cure/vaccine) in hand. We used to take healthy food for granted, but due to the current situation, it’s about time to take things seriously and to include green, leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in our daily intake, that is, if we even want to have a fighting chance at the rate of the current pandemic.

3) PPEs and Protective Gears
This is a bit tricky, as not only is it difficult to find a complete PPE set nowadays (thanks to the shortage caused by the pandemic), it may also be a bit costly (due to the law of supply and demand, lesser supply means a higher cost). Now, you may find a few local stores selling face masks per piece (some would even sell them by tens), and they’re very much accessible. However, face shields, gloves, and protective robes, may require you to look a bit further than your nearest store if ever you were in need of a whole set. Understandably, manufacturers are prioritizing frontliners, so PPE sets in general aren’t going to be found in stores, but in hospital laboratories and wards. The best that you can do is to at least buy yourself a few pieces of masks and be cautious when travelling. Incomplete gear means that you should do your best when social distancing. If you do get an opportunity to avail a whole PPE set, however, go for it! Nothing is more valuable than being protected at all times.

The Nonessentials to Avoid:
1) Flashy and Expensive Clothing
At this point, buying expensive apparel is like throwing away your money. There used to be a time when you’d buy flashy, trendy clothes to show off your friends in the mall, but that may no longer be part of the “new normal,” due to the fact that a) you may not be able to see your friends for a long time, due to the travel restrictions set in place b) malls are usually closed these days, only opening their doors for limited hours, after which you may have already completed your grocery errand c) everyone is too busy and cautious to even notice the clothes that you are wearing, so wearing something trendy is useless. The thing is, people are too busy minding their own business while social distancing and buying their supplies, so they may not even take a second look at you, especially if you’re not an acquaintance or a familiar face.

2) Expensive Gadgets
You must prioritize functionality over fashion. Instead of buying expensive cellphones, go for cheaper alternatives which would still enable you to communicate with loved ones from faraway places. Remember, there is nothing wrong with availing communication devices, such as cellphones, tablets, or even small laptops (especially if you’re work-from-home), the problem lies within the price tag. There are always more affordable options when buying gadgets in the market, and as long as they function the way that they are supposed to, you have no need for the well-known brands which will only eat up a huge amount from your budget and savings.

3) Junk Foods and Sweets
While not expensive when it comes to their usual price tag, junk foods and sweets may not be the best choice when it comes to shopping for food supplies. They offer nothing of value when it comes to nutrients, they cause more cavities than your average fruits and vegetables, and they also do nothing when it comes to strengthening your immune system. Sure, they are the most accessible types of food and snacks, even during this time of shortages and factory shutdowns, but the fact that they are least prioritized at a time when hunger is just around the corner says a lot about their current standing when it comes to people’s nutritious needs.

Now, at this time of crisis and uncertainty, the proper use of your budget is a must. It may not be an easy task, but if you’re the breadwinner and provider of your family, your focus towards an efficient way of budgeting would help in the long run. Of course, it isn’t just about the efficient use of money, it’s all about setting aside a few amounts for your future. Luckily, your most trusted pawnshop is here to stay and is always open to serve you with your dire needs when it comes to savings. Look no further than Cebuana Lhuillier’s Micro Savings services. At its core, it aims to provide easier banking access to Filipinos. The product is almost the same with any regular savings account in the Philippines, with the main difference of requiring at least a P500 Average Daily Balance for interest to incur. So what are you waiting for? Feel free to visit the nearest Cebuana Lhuillier now!