COVID 19: The Personal Finance Test of a Lifetime
Perhaps you will be able to weather through this pandemic financially, but chances are that someone close to you will not. Pass this along. It may just save someone’s financial future.
Transunion is monitoring the financial impact on U.S. Consumers weekly. In their latest report using data from the week ending March 30th, 3 out of 5 Americans reported they were affected financially.1
Do you have emergency savings? Good credit? Manageable Debt? Health insurance?
You could even be in good standing with all of these things and it still isn’t enough. Unemployment numbers are climbing by the day, small businesses are drying up, workers’ hours are being reduced drastically, and many more are going on furlough.
It is hard to see ahead when the fog is so thick, but you have to remember this too shall pass. We will come through this pandemic and when we do, what will your financial situation look like? Will you still have good credit and manageable debt? Will any of your decisions have caused you permanent financial damage? Will your retirement goals still be obtainable?
No matter your situation, you need to be doing everything you can to protect your situation when the fog clears. The following 3 things can get you off to a good start:
- Protect Your Credit…Good credit is an essential. It effects your insurance premiums, job opportunities, utilities and rent, interest rates on all of your debt, and whether or not you can even obtain debt as a an individual or a business. Protecting it is a must! If you are in a bind, the CARES Act provisions have made it possible to keep your credit in good standing. Be proactive and call each of your lenders and creditors immediately. You can ask them to apply the natural disaster code to your credit report and work out an agreement for forbearance or modified payments. Do not wait until you miss a payment to call.
- Find Cash…If you will be getting a refund for your 2019 tax return, be sure to file for it. Learn what benefits and stimulus are available to you in light of recent legislation. Unemployment is expanded, cash may be coming to you and much more. You can start your research with our publication from last week: The CARES Act and Other Relief Programs.
- Understand Your Greatest Risk….YOU! Frankly, things probably will get worse before they get better. Every day is a roller coaster of good news and bad. The investment markets are and will be volatile. And remember, negative news sells! From March 16th through the 20ths, Fox News saw its ratings rise 60%, CNN was up 119%, MSNBC’s increase was 37% over the same time period from the previous year.2 Rash decisions have proven to be the most damaging thing to investors time and time again. Remember the basics and stay disciplined to the Warren Buffet rule—Buy fear and sell greed. And although we are talking investments here, these rules apply to everything you do financially.
Earlier this year, we talked about having your financial vitals checked. It may be too late for a simple vitals check now, but you can start eating healthy and exercising no matter where you are financially. If you don’t know how to do it, start with the vitals check and let us help you from there. You can’t change where you are, but you can start today to change the ending. Don’t waste another moment to begin Living Life on Purpose!