Broker Check

COVID-19 & Your Money

March 26, 2020

If you are reading this, know that you are so appreciated and thought of during this very unusual time.

I have been working from home this last week and each day there is some new piece of information or news demanding my attention. The economy, markets, and coronavirus lead and close every newscast with concerning reports about the present and the future. I must admit that it makes you wonder about what is going to happen to this great nation of people. How will we survive and thrive through this terrible event?

Today I was able to catch a Dave Ramsey podcast that has numerous great ideas about living with money. You’ve probably heard me say that “We like to see people win with money”. Well, the times we are in right now are no different than 6 months ago about how we can set ourselves up to win with money. The plan to win looks a little different now, but what remains the same is the need for a plan to win. How can you win right now with threats to your financial world? – Have a Plan and live it out.

If you have been knocked around this last week by all the hard news and social media sensationalism, let’s start with a basic plan to bring some stability to you and your family. Let’s make sure your 4 walls to your financial house are intact. What are your 4 walls? They are the items in your monthly financial world that must be kept intact to provide breathing room or “financial social distancing” from all other problems. If you can stabilize these areas in the immediate you will be able to keep an emotional balance as you work through all other areas of your life.

Here they are:

 

FOOD – Keep food in the house. Shelves are at stores are picked over but keep in mind shelves will be filled up again. It might be a meal of beans and rice a few nights, but a dash of tabasco takes it to another level.
HOUSING– Make sure your shelter is in place. Keep your rent paid, your mortgage current. Getting behind means at some point in the future you will likely need to make up the missed payment/s. Some lenders are indicating that they may allow borrowers to skip a payment or two and have the missed payments added to the back end of a loan term. Check with your lender before just assuming its available. Visa or another credit company are NOT part of your 4 walls. If at the end of your planning for the 4 walls there are not monies available to pay a credit card- let it go for now. A missed Visa payment may mean your credit score gets dinged but who cares if you have a place for your family to sleep, and food is in your belly. What’s important: Food or FICO? Food wins every time.
UTILITIES – Keep your utilities paid up. Utility companies are also indicating they won’t be cutting off anyone during this time, but it will still be a liability once we get through this immediate. Stay current. Making up a past bill is difficult and keeping your family warm is important.
VEHICLE – Finally, keep your transportation whole. You are going to need to get to work once this is over. Heck if you have a payment that’s going to become too much think about selling your rig and get a vehicle you can pay off quickly.
Put a plan in place to control these aspects of your life if you don’t already have one. If you have a plan for these 4 key areas, you’re going to be able to control a large part of your life over the next year. Have a plan to win with the money you have. My wife pointed out that through all this everyone is affected by this pandemic, the wealthy, homeless or the rest of us in between. We are being equalized by a virus, but what sets you apart from everyone else is your plan. Your plan to win with money.

If you have questions about your 4 walls give me a call. Glad to help.

Rod