As the pandemic rages on, we’ve gotten some much-needed hope because of the rate of vaccinations across the U.S.
At time of writing, it’s been reported that more than half of all U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
My wife and I are now part of that statistic! But I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into and that we were prepared regardless.
Fun fact. When you eat, sleep, and breathe personal finance like me, that’s all you think about—even if it’s subconsciously while you’re thinking about other things.
Whenever I would research the COVID vaccines, I kept seeing a few different parallels between the vaccinations and personal finance. #MoneyNerd
Here are three personal finance lessons you can learn from what scientists, doctors, and others are doing with the COVID-19 vaccine.
1. Everyone is Different
Yes, I’ve said this before. Yes, it’s one of the core values of Atypical Finance.
But it was still nice to see it confirmed once again.
You can see with the COVID vaccines that everyone is different.
There are some people who have some pretty bad vaccine side effects. Then, there are some who have no side effects at all.
Some people have unfortunately gone into anaphylactic shock. Others simply get lightheaded like they would for normal medical procedures.
There are even a wide range of beliefs on if people actually want to get the vaccine or not.
Everyone. Is. Different.
The lesson for personal finance, everyone is different as well.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to money management. In fact, managing your money exactly the same way someone else does can lead to financial failure.
There is no one reason why someone is financially successful that will work across the board for everyone else.
Otherwise, we’d all give every dollar a job and stop buying lattes, and Starbucks wouldn’t be as big as it is today.
Everyone’s finances should be different.
Being financially successful is going to look different for all of us because we all have different budgeting styles, goals, and life situations.
If you want to be really successful in your finances, don’t try and fit into a mold and find out what works best for you.
That may look like going out to eat less, spending more on what (or who) you love, or *gasp* buying a brand new car instead of a used one.
Create a budget specifically made for you (Amazon link to my book), and then use it to figure out what is going to be best for you in all other areas of personal finance.
2. You Can Be Afraid and Still Take Action
You don’t have to get over your fear before moving forward. A lot of people are nervous about the vaccine and getting it anyway.
My wife and I got our first dose yesterday and I was nervous.
Adverse reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare. A small number of people go into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to a vaccine ingredient.
A little more common are side effects, especially after the second shot, as your body mounts an immunological response to COVID.
Many people (me included) have the thought, “Well, what if I’m one of the very rare adverse reactions?”
I was also personally nervous about how my body would react to getting the shot simply because I don’t tend to do well with medical stuff as it is.
I have to lay down to get a blood draw just in case I faint.
After the vaccine shot, I did feel a little lightheaded and broke out into a cold sweat. Thankfully that was the extent of it.
I was nervous about all those things, and that’s ok. I took action anyway.
It didn’t stop me from doing what I thought was right.
The lesson for personal finance is the same thing.
Sometimes it’s scary moving forward in our finances even if we know we’re doing the right thing for us.
You’ll never have all the facts in life, so it’s important sometimes to just go for it. Don’t wait for the fear to be gone.
Sometimes it even takes spending a little money on a finance course or financial coach (like me) to change your finances.
One thing that is certain is that It always takes courage to move forward.
So don’t let fear stop you from taking action. Do what’s best for you today.
3. Having a Safety Net Can Save Everything
I briefly mentioned above that there are some people, although very rare, that can have an adverse reaction to the vaccine ingredients and actually go into anaphylactic shock.
For this reason, medical professionals administering the vaccine monitor people for fifteen minutes after receiving their dose.
If someone goes into anaphylactic shock, they have an epinephrine shot right there to stop the reaction.
This medical safety net they’ve implemented can literally save everything (i.e. your life!).
The lesson for personal finance is to have a safety net as well.
In personal finance, your safety net is your emergency fund—something I consider one of three pillars of budgeting.
Following lesson number one, everyone’s emergency fund should also be different. The perfect amount for me is not going to be the perfect amount for you.
Differences in income level, job security, monthly cash flow, and your personal comfort level all play a role in the amount of money you should have stashed away for emergencies.
To take this a step further, we can glean two separate lessons within the vaccine safety net lesson:
- They looked into who is most likely to have an allergic reaction. Medical authorities figured out that people with a higher risk for an allergic reaction are those that have had reactions from drugs, medical products, foods, or insect stings. This is comparable to doing the work to figure out exactly how much emergency fund you need specifically.
- They’ve set a baseline timeframe of fifteen minutes, and they stick to it. Since most allergic reactions happen within fifteen minutes, medical authorities have determined what is going to work best for them in order to keep everyone safe, and they’ve done the work to prepare for it. This is comparable to funding your emergency fund after figuring out what your personal EF should be. This is when the safety net is in place.
Having a personal finance safety net in the form of an emergency fund is a great way to keep you on track to meet your goals even if a truly unexpected expense comes up.
For more details on how to build the perfect emergency fund for you and how to build it quickly, you can check out this post here.
One thing is clear. A safety net can help keep you safe—even in personal finance.
Whether or not you get the vaccine is your choice, but one thing is clear. Personal finance lessons can come from anywhere.
I’m hopeful for the end of the pandemic. And I’m hoping it’s soon.
And I’m also hoping that you can continue to find financial freedom on the path that is uniquely yours.
Take these lessons, put them into practice, and continue down your path.
You got this.