We may be close to being on the other side of the Coronavirus pandemic, but as far as the economy is concerned, we’re not out of the woods yet.
The effects of all the (necessary) stimulus are being felt across the economy. Inflation, while lower than it has been, is still higher than it has been in years. Tech companies seem to be laying people off left and right.
We even just had a bank collapse. Silicon Valley Bank—a bank heavily focused on startups—collapsed in what was the largest bank collapse since 2008. I’m not even going to pretend to guess what is going to happen next like some financial educators out there, but suffice it to say, these continue to be tough times.
Where are you at with your money in these continued uncertain times?
Over the past few years, many have:
- Lost their jobs completely
- Been furloughed without pay
- Been furloughed with a small amount of pay
- Seen their business bear the brunt of the lockdowns
- Seen the business they work for not be able to make payroll
- Relied on stimulus money and extra unemployment to get by
- Ran out of stimulus money and extra unemployment and wondered how to get by
- Taken from retirement savings to make ends meet
- Used an emergency fund
- Dried up an emergency fund
- Wondered when enough will be enough
I wrote an article a bit ago about 4 Certainties During Uncertain Times, and the one I personally focus on in that list is “We will get through this.”
We’re almost out of the Covid-19 pandemic, and now the economy is in question. But all that doesn’t matter to my outlook. I wholeheartedly believe that we will come out of this stronger than ever.
While that may do a bit (hopefully) to comfort you, I want to give you some actions that you can do right now to help your finances through these continued rough times.
1. Make Sure Your Needs Are Taken Care of
Depending on where you are financially, it may be difficult to pay some bills right now. Make sure you are taking care of your housing, utilities, and food first before anything else.
Do whatever you can to make sure your needs are prioritized.
This may look like cancelling most of your streaming services for now, finding cheaper meals to cut back on groceries, stopping extra debt payments, going without a haircut for a while, or simply cutting back on personal spending.
Taking care of your needs will make sure you do not become homeless and hungry.
2. Shore Up Your Emergency Fund
I’m all for determining your own emergency fund, but the amount you feel comfortable with in the bank may be different now than it was pre-pandemic.
I recommend using any extra money you have to shore up your emergency fund.
Do I think you need to have a year’s worth of expenses on hand just in case? I don’t for my situation, but you may feel differently about yours. I still believe your emergency fund number will be different than someone else’s.
But when it’s all said and done, having more and not needing it is better than not having enough.
If it’s a bit low right now, build it up quickly. If you’re at the point where you’re comfortable, throw a bit more into it just for good measure.
The opportunity cost of missing out on investing the little bit extra you determine you need is not going to be that much.
Then, as we navigate any potential economic recession, you can re-evaluate where you’re at and invest the rest.
3. Seek Help
This is where some of you may have to let go of your pride.
On a normal day, you should not be ashamed of your financial struggle. That goes double for times like these.
Reach. Out. To. Someone.
Seriously. Reach out to a friend or family member, even if it’s simply for moral support.
Call your creditors to see what type of relief programs they have. Sign up for government assistance programs.
I am also here for you. You do not have to be alone in this. So don’t be alone in this.
4. Continue to Help Where You Can
So far, the current economy is not affecting everyone equally. And honestly, it never does.
If you’re not struggling with money, first off, that’s great. Second, I encourage you to help out where you can.
The first measures our government took to stop the pandemic and the continued stimulus put a strain on the economy. It takes a very real toll on us as people. It is more important than ever to band together and unite as Americans.
If you’re secure in your job and have extra money, take care of yourself and your family, but also use some of that to help a neighbor, a friend, a coworker, or a complete stranger.
Just because you can.
There is no greater return on investment than helping others, especially when they cannot help themselves.
It’s honestly worth more than all the money in the world.
As we continue through these turbulent economic waters, we have markers that are letting us know what the economy might do, but no one knows for sure. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you they know for sure what the future brings.
Recessions are extremely hard to predict, even by looking at “reliable” indicators like the jobs report and yield curve—especially when the current reason we’re skirting one is due to a global pandemic.
Now more than ever, it’s essential to do what is going to be best for you at the same time as looking out for each other.
Take care of your finances, and then help take care of others. It’s like putting your oxygen mask on first in an airplane and then helping those around you.
Let’s stick together and show the world what unity looks like.
Reach out to me via my contact page if you need anything. I’d love to hear from you.