I would like to assume that most of us have been raised to not spend more than we make and to save for a “rainy day.” All of which, of course, we probably do not do for multiple reasons like life happens, self-control, or maybe lack of money knowledge. Well, the rainy day has come.
We have never had a better time than now to take a moment and look at our money habits. This is the point that our parents, or in my case, my great-grandma, warned me about. I’m reflecting back to my Grandma’s “freezer money.” As a child, I just thought she was crazy, but as an adult, I see that she lived in a different time but with the same fears and anxiety that most Americans are feeling today. Grandma would tell me multiple places that money was hidden, some of which my mom claims we still never found.
Thinking of her, I had to ask myself a series of questions. Do I have liquid cash to get to in a jiffy? Am I prepared for my entire family to be forced to say home for 3-4 months if this pandemic doesn’t get nipped quickly? The answers are both yes and no.
No, people do not have the liquid assets to survive, and if they do, not for more than a week or two. So what do we do?
We stay calm.
We create a budget.
We analyze the budget.
We create a plan.
We take action.
Take a moment to sit down with your spouse and really look at the numbers. Find out how much you have in savings (don’t go take it out, but know how much is there). If you are a paycheck to paycheck person, find a way to make some cuts just to ease your anxiety. Stop all unnecessary spending and save. If student loans are weighing you down, call and get them deferred. If credit cards are eating you in minimum payments, call them. If you have zero income coming in, use your fear to motivate you to get whatever job necessary to bring in the smallest income available to provide for your family. The most crucial action to take is to care for your four walls, which include food, house, utilities, and transportation. Everything else can be paused and picked up after the end of the world has come and gone.
And after doing all of that and you still feel anxious or ill-prepared, call me. Let me help you through this time. I’m a Ramsey Preferred Coach, as in Dave Ramsey, the financial guru who has been telling all of us how cash is king for years and years, and the owner of Zow Financial Coaching. I help people fix their relationship with money. Everyone’s financial journey is individual. Financial coaching is customized to you to ensure that you meet your goals and receive customized results.