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How to Manage Your Personal Finances During Times of Economic Uncertainty as a Gambian Expat

07 Sep 2023


Do you know what are the two contrasting aspects of your life as a Gambian? Well, seen from the financial perspective, life can be pretty challenging for you. But the same life will be pretty exciting if you travel to a foreign country and find a job there to earn a living. After starting your job abroad, you can send money to Gambia to offer financial aid to your family back home. Do you know what challenges you’ll face when migrating to a foreign country? What will be the most essential things that you’ll need to ensure after moving abroad from the Gambia? Keep reading to find the answers. 
 

The thought of working abroad is alluring but in most cases, the reason behind going abroad is not. Most people, belonging to developing countries like the Gambia, travel to developed countries to find work because they fail to find proper jobs with better economic prospects in their native countries. And the reason is that a majority of these countries face economic uncertainty which leads to unemployment, and poverty resulting in a large exodus of the people. 
 

A report by IOM UN Migration said that about 118,000 Gambians are working abroad. They have been contributing to the country’s economy through inward remittances they send back from overseas.

A World Bank report said that the Gambian migrants sent back over $600 million to the country in 2022. 
 

It is a substantial financial contribution.

And the core reason behind it is the migration from the Gambia triggered by the economic uncertainty the Gambians face. 
 

This blog will explain economic uncertainty and how to be financially smart and conscious about managing your finances as a Gambian migrant. 
 

Understanding Economic Uncertainty

Economic uncertainty refers to a situation where it becomes difficult to predict the economic future of a country. The economy of a country is, therefore, surrounded by many risks and unknowns. 
 

The following few factors can create such a grave economic scenario. 
 

Fluctuations and Volatility in Financial Markets

Rapid fluctuation in the stock market or currency exchange rates can cause economic uncertainty. This was witnessed in many countries worldwide during the global financial crisis and the advent of Covid-19. 
 

Changing Macroeconomic Policies

If a government suddenly announces a change in its economic policies that contrasts with the current policies, it can cause economic uncertainty. Even a change in the interest rates announced by the Central Bank can cause economic uncertainty. 
 

Political Instability

One of the reasons why the Gambians travel to developed countries to earn a living and support their families through a money transfer to Gambia is the country's perpetual political instability. On the one hand, it makes people suffer financially, and on the other, triggers economic uncertainty. 
 

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes can disrupt the supply chain and can, therefore, slow down the economic activity in a country. And when economic activity slows down, the certain result is economic uncertainty. 
 

More or less all of the causes are present in the Gambia that trigger economic uncertainty in the country. Therefore, you travel abroad to find jobs to earn a living. So, you need to know about and work in the Countries That Pay The Most To Migrant Workers. 
 

Now let’s understand how you should manage your finance as a Gambian migrant during times of economic uncertainty, which has manifested itself in the Gambia for most of the time since the country’s existence. 
 

Managing Personal Finance – An Insight

If you want to be successful financially, you have to ensure you manage your finance smartly. Because the only window to financial success is the management of your money, instead of the money itself. 
 

Always remember that the management of your finances is the key to financial success and it also guards you against the adverse effects of economic uncertainty. 
 

Steps to Manage Finances to Guard Yourself Against Economic Uncertainty

One of the first effects of economic uncertainty is that the prices of, well, everything, begin to rise. You see no signs of the rising inflation abating any time soon. In such a scenario, the following measures will protect you from the adverse effects of economic uncertainty. 
 

Stock Up on Supplies

Economic uncertainty leads to panic shopping which results in a huge gap between supply and demand triggering inflation. So, stock up on essential supplies and necessary food items well in advance. Some of the items can include: 
 

  • Packaged food
  • Tea and coffee
  • Canned goods
  • Household essentials
  • Sanitary items

Slash Spending

Take a look at your spending habits and see your spending trail in the recent past. Evaluate it and cut your spending where you can. While earning a living abroad you can develop the habit of overspending. Do check it, if so. 
 

Build an Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is critically important. Create one such fund and keep contributing to it and make sure to send money to Gambia online in such a manner that a chunk of the money you transfer back automatically adds to the emergency fund you have created. 
 

Plan For the Future

Redesign your income and expenses in a manner that caters to the future. Imagine what would you do if this economic uncertainty were to last long. Plan your economic future in light of this question’s answer. 
 

Gain Financial Literacy

Seek financial education. Because if you know what to do in times of economic uncertainty, you will better understand the situation and be able to manage your finances well and stay financially afloat. 
 

Make Diverse Investments

Diversify your investment portfolio and start investing money in different areas instead of, for example, investing all your capital in real estate. Try other investment options but thoroughly understand the risks and prospects of each investment option before choosing one. 
 

Reduce Debt

You can either use the ‘snowball’ method or the ‘avalanche’ method to pay off your debt. In the first method, you pay off the smaller debts first; in the second method, you pay off the highest debt first. Which method you choose, depends on you. But the recommended way is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. 
 

These measures can protect you from the adverse effects of economic uncertainty and help you with efficient management of your finance. 
 

Wrapping Up the Discussion

Beware of spending too much on your online money transfer to Gambia in terms of paying high fees and getting uncompetitive exchange rates. Try to find a service provider that charges you a low fee, offers live and competitive exchange rates, with speed, safety, and much more. For all of this and much more, you can safely bet on ACE Money Transfer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 
 

What is economic uncertainty?

Economic uncertainty refers to a situation where the country’s business and economic activities no longer remain stable. It also refers to a situation in which predicting the economic future becomes impossible. 
 

What factors trigger economic uncertainty in a country?

Several factors trigger economic uncertainty. A few notable factors include natural disasters, political instability, volatility in financial markets, and rapidly changing and unstable macroeconomic policies. 
 

How to manage finances in the wake of economic uncertainty?

The best way is to start by knowing about the situation and becoming financially literate. It will enable you to take essential measures like stocking up on commodities, saving for the future, spending smartly, paying off debts, and reducing spending.   
 

What is efficient personal finance management?

It is the process of knowing where your money is coming and going. This process consists of an assessment of your financial resources, setting your priorities, and exercising financial restraint. 
 

How does a remittance service provider help you with your personal finance management?

Any company that charges a low fee and offers you live and competitive exchange rates helps you with your finance as these factors help you save money on your global money transfers.

Resources

  • Gambian diaspora

(Overview | IOM The Gambia)

  • Inward remittances

(Personal remittances, received (current US$) - Gambia, The | Data (worldbank.org)


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