Special: Covid-19 Proof your bank account.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. Both in the physical and financial world. Look, I know what you’re thinking – ” This is a comedy podcast, how come he’s talking finances?” Well, it’s because I’ve been getting a bunch of messages on social from people asking what I’m doing with my finances during this economic crisis/global pandemic. I’ll bring up personal finance topics on BS in the Morning from time to time, so I’ll occasionally get some money questions…but lately, it’s been A LOT! I get it too. NOBODY KNOWS WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. So, I wanted to make a quick and easy, step by step guide to surviving the global pandemic…financially.
Here’s what I’m doing personally in 4.5 easy steps. Take it or leave it. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not a financial pro, so be sure to talk to a fiduciary before doing anything. These are just some SUPER BASIC STEPS THAT YOU SHOULD BE TAKING WITH YOUR MONEY.
I wish you a happy and healthy life. Here we go:
Are you still getting paid?
Did you get laid off or your business/job get shutdown?
Don’t wait to file for unemployment. Do it now…like right now. Pause this podcast and go file for it. How do you do that? Just google how to file for unemployment in ____then type in you city. Honestly, I don’t think I need to tell you how to google something.
Make a budget.
Do you have one? Like a real one? This is BY FAR the most powerful tool in your arsenal and only you have the power to control it. Write down everything you spent money on in the last 3 months. Everything. Every single cent. This will suck. but growing is painful. By writing down every transaction you’ll begin to see patterns. I want you to ask yourself these questions and them answer them with the numbers in your budget:
- Where do you spend the most money?
- typically it’s rent/mortgage, Transportation, and Food
- What do you spend money on that you don’t need to survive?
- Entertainment? Hobby? Takeout Food? Every streaming service?
- How much money does it cost you to live the way you’re living every month?
- This should be a hard number. To the cent. You know how much your bills are every month, right? Ex: Rent, Car payment, food cost, and cable bill?
Money is going to be getting tight for everyone. If you haven’t been doing it…today, right now, is the time to start squirreling as much of it as you can away. You won’t know how much you’ll be able to save until you MAKE A BUDGET.
Cut needless expenses. It’s quicker to live below your means than to make more money.
You have debt? Start paying it down.
The last recession came with credit companies dropping a bunch of people they deemed high risk individuals. Let’s budget it in that your going to be paying off those credit cards. If the economy takes a dive after we pull out of this pandemic, then I want you looking good to the banks if and when you need a loan. Build it into your budget to start paying off your debt…all but student loans and mortgages. Not just the minimum balance either!! Pay down the damn principle!! This will suck. This will take time. How long? You’ll have build it into your budget to find out.
Start an emergency fund.
My god, I hope you have one of these to begin with. You’re working right now, right? Start saving up. At least. At least. At least! 10% of every check should start going to an emergency fund. That’s not some arbitrary number either. You should have at least 3-6 months of your monthly expenses saved up. That way, if you find yourself googling how to file for unemployment in _____, you’ll know you’ll be good for the next 3-6 months. How do you know your expenses? YOUR BUDGET! See why it’s so important.
Don’t touch them. You might feel like you’re sinking when you look at your 401k or Ira. Leave them alone. In fact, say you have no debt, and have an emergency fund locked and loaded in a bank account. Then Keep putting money into your retirement accounts. Unless you’re planning on retiring in the next few years, then You should be thinking of this stock market dive as all stocks are on sale. They will go back up…when…who knows…but, the market in general has always gone back up…it just takes time. So if you think you’ll be working for the next 20-30 years…then keep putting money in. I’m not talking about specific stocks, I’m talking index funds where you money is diversified. This method is called dollar cost averaging and it a technique to spread the risk of one company ranking vs one company boom. Essentially, you ride the wave and over time…the entire tide rises. It’s scary investing in a down market, but, the secret is to never stop investing and don’t try to time the market.