The Time has Come
So coronavirus is here and the time has come for all preppers to say I told you so and for all personal finance bloggers to look smugly from their 3-6 month expenses in in a saving account and say “I told you so”.
Saving Money for Emergencies
I’ve blogged before about my Life Happens fund and emergency fund and this just seems much bigger than a broken refrigerator or a trip to the dentist. 2 weeks’ quarantine is much bigger than all of that and that is if everything return back to normal after this. We have no clue how quickly everything will rebound or get back to normal. How resilient is our supply chain? How much have we been depending on foreign workers (especially china) to be able to supply us with really cheap goods? Will we be able to afford things that are made in America? Will this cause a recession? Who knows. I certainly don’t.
It’s not about the money
It was never about the money. It was never about building wealth or retiring early for me. It was about being able to weather a storm just like this. It’s about realizing that even in times when we experience “great levelers”. When we say “disease doesn’t care how rich you are” we also have to realize that money and financial security offer us things that make this just a little easier. After all, it’s possible we will all go into quarantine and then come back to the same exact life as before. Some of us will have a mountain of debt to pay off from not working and medical bills and some will move on as if this was just a blip.
I don’t have 3-6 months’ expenses saved. In fact, my emergency fund and my life happens fund are perilously low due to my maternity leave and the fact that my refrigerator just broke. So I am certainly not one of the smug ones here.
So what to do?
- Accept that this is all in G-d’s hands. When push comes to shove there is not much that we can rely on. We just have to realize that we are not in control. Not even one tiny bit.
- Do the best with tools we have. Plan. Organize. Mitigate the damage.
Save your Tax Refund
Now some practical advice: its tax season which means that tax refunds may be hitting your bank account. I know that many people often use their tax refund to pay for large items that they have been saving up for. This is what I suggest and feel free to ignore me. Save it. Even if you need that item. Save the money until this blows over. You can always buy the time later. I would even maybe say that you shouldn’t use it to pay off debt just yet. Save it. You can always throw it at the debt later. Hopefully you won’t need to use it.
Now is also the time to really acknowledge how important saving money is. now is the time to realize how quickly everything can go south. Take the $1,000 savings challenge and make sure that you AT LEAST have $1,000 saved. Start now. Save what you can but make it a PRIORITY.
Since we are all stuck at home, now is the time to try to cut as many expenses as you can in preparation for the long haul. It seems like this might be the new normal for some time. Additionally, recovery from this may take a while as well. Now is the time to do your best to mitigate the damage and try to look out for yourself. While we want the economy to continue and that involves spending money but make sure to put on your own mask first and save the money you need before sharing the wealth.
Wash your hands.
Stay at home.
Let’s hope this all blows over really soon!
Here are some awesome posts from some great bloggers about Coronavirus!
- Rebalancing the Pandemic by Dr. PayItBack
- Preparing for the Coronavirus Without Breaking the Bank by Life Before Budget
- Working from Home Tips by Keeping Up With the Bulls
- The Coronavirus is a Bigger Deal Than I Thought by Eat Sleep Breathe FI
- What Now? Prepare. And Help. #kindnessfightscovid by Chief Mom Officer
- How To Prepare For Short Term Emergencies by Problems and Projects
- How to Make the Most of Your Unexpected Downtime by Kathleen Celmins
- Coronavirus Cleaning Tips: Disinfect Your Home by Pantry Escapades
- How to Prepare Financially for the Coronavirus by Michelle is Money Hungry
- How to Pandemic-Proof Your Business by Erika F Consulting
- PrepperFI in the Face of COVID-19 by Tread Lightly Retire Early
- PrepperFI vs. The Pandemic by That Frugal Pharmacist