President Trump declared a State of Emergency in the US this past week in an attempt to get the spread of Coronavirus under control. Whether or not this virus will affect our health, it’s going to affect our lives. Many states right now are closing schools for the next 2-3 weeks, so parents will need to stay home from work to take care of their young kids. Shelves in the stores are empty. We wonder how this is going to end. How do we get through chaotic times like these?
Be Thankful for the Country We Live In
I am thankful to God for placing me in the United States of America. Now, there are other great countries in this world, and people can be thankful for living there, but how many countries can throw $50 billion at something like this? This is even before congress and the president agree on other funding. I’m not saying I agree with this spending. I’m just saying how thankful I am to live in a rich nation like the USA when it comes to a crisis like this.
The United States, if not the most medically advanced country in the world, is close to the top. Maybe medical services are expensive here, but I would rather be living here during times like this.
Not Working for Two Weeks (or more)
What are you going to do for the few weeks that you cannot go to work? Working from home is great, but not everyone can do that. I think this is a great time to start a side hustle if you are looking to bring in more income.
Don’t use this time to sit on the couch and watch TV. Learn something. Find online training that you can take so that you can better your career.
Teach your kids something new since they are off school for a while. Play with them. My kids and I went fishing this morning, and we will finish up some yard work this week.
My wife plans on doing preschool with the kids while they are home. She is planning on having them learn the calendar, play some math games with them, and do some science experiments with them. Even if your kids are older than 4 years old, you can still help them learn something. If you have a Financial Peace University membership, watch the Smart Money Smart Kids videos with them this week.
When it comes to your finances, pause your current Baby Step and go into storm mode if you are unsure about your income. Save your money and only pay the minimums on your debt until this is over.
The stock market tanked this past week, and it has many on edge. Oil crashed as well, and that could be pointing to a recession. Whether we are in a recession or not, when the market drops, people get nervous.
Retirees especially get nervous when the market drops. There is some concern there. If you are retired and living off your assets, discuss your situation with an advisor. If you just recently retired, it’s possible that you need to go back to work for a few months after the all-clear is giving.
For anyone who has not retired, just leave your money invested. The market has always come back. Eventually, this will blow over, and life will continue.
Planning for the Future
We are definitely in some chaotic times and uncharted waters. Some states are closing restaurants, bars, and casinos. That’s not all bad, except for the owners and the people who work there are out of an income. Is there a way to plan financially for something like this in the future?
Once everything returns to normal, whether in a few weeks or a few years, you can plan financially for events like this by getting your finances in order. Get on a plan to build wealth. Once you are out of debt and have money in the bank, not getting paid for a few weeks becomes an inconvenience.
Times like these can help us understand what is really important to us. Although I blog about money, I hope money isn’t at the top of your “This Is Important to Me” list. Use the time now to take care of your family, your neighbor, and yourself. Don’t use this time to sit around and do nothing. There are so many great things you can do while at home.
After the dust settles, get on a plan and get your finances in order so that you are prepared financially for the next time things get crazy. When you don’t have debt and have an emergency fund in place, times like this are an inconvenience when it comes to our finances and not an emergency.