It is an exciting time with us being quarantine and all! We are stuck in our houses, and limited from going to certain places. We cannot touch one another. We can't give high fives, fist pumps, or any other form of physical endearment! But if you look closely, like really close, there is so much revelation we are receiving right now that is causing us to look at the facts that, not only are we physically confined, but our finances feel quarantined too!
Let’s take a look at what it means to be financially quarantined. By definition, quarantine means to be isolated. In my description, I see it as being a choice between gas or groceries, paying off a credit card or saving for an emergency, and being extremely limited on what we can accomplish financially. It is a fact that the current pandemic brought our money issues to the surface, leaving us to face them head-on. People are losing employment, businesses cutting back on hours, employees have been furloughed, companies are shutting down. For lack of better words, things just got REAL!!!
There was a time where I had a ton of credit card debt and not enough income coming in which limited the progression of goals that I wanted to accomplish. This tough time in life made me purposely quarantine my finances. Not only did it make me isolate my funds, but it also helped me change my entire mindset around money, future planning, and what was #essential in life!
Before we touch on the benefits of being financially quarantined, I want to share what NOT to do with your money in the middle of a pandemic.
1. Do not withdraw all of your money from your bank accounts.
Now is the time to practice your faith and build secure funds. Feeling the need to withdraw everything is acting out of fear. If you are worried about your money supernaturally disappearing due the government taking it, relax!. Keep that money in your account.
2. Do not withdraw from your retirement accounts.
For those of you who are a little bit more seasoned and you feel like you need to make money stretch, withdrawing your money from your retirement accounts may not be the best move. It could actually cause you to lose more money than gain. It's okay to slow down your contribution and put it in an emergency savings account.
3. Do not become a co-signer.
It seems like it may be a great time to buy a home, car or get a personal loan because interest rates are low. These are very uncertain times, with uncertain income streams coming in. Before you decide to co-sign anything, for anyone, ask yourself, "am I willing to pay for this item if the person I am helping falls on hard times". See- Proverbs 22: 26-27
4. Do not get an adjustable rate mortgage.
Adjustable means your rate can increase at any time. This is not the time to get anything that is uncertain debts.
5. Do not accumulate new debt.
When we get worried about not being able to pay bills, the natural thing to do is to start making extensions, setting payment arrangements, skipping student loan and debt payments. These balances will continue to rise, and in the end, you end up paying more money to these institutions. Stay in your normal routined of paying your bills and put extra money in savings.
6. Bonus Tip: Do not stop giving.
Another thing that most people do when facing a financial crisis is to decrease the amount they give to their local church. I know it sounds crazy, but Luke 6:38 it says, "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” This is as true as it gets. Giving will challenge your heart and mind to rely on who your provider actually is.
Finally, what are the benefits to being financially quarantined
1. Create a Net Worth Statement
Now is a great time to get the entire scope of your finances down on paper so you can make a plan moving forward.Write out everything you owe. Write out all of the assets you have coming in that add value to you monetarily. A net worth statement will also coordinate your thoughts and help you reflect on you what you feel is valuable in your life. You may find that something that is not necessary to have anymore, especially if they cost you an arm and a leg.
2. Revise Your Budget
I am sure that 90% of America was not ready for a pandemic to hit, and when you are used to bringing in a certain amount of money, you tend to live according to that number. With that being said, you must look over your budget and start recalculating your numbers. Try to live on as few expenses as you possibly can so that you can save those extra funds! If you have never budgeted before, start one today!
3. Move Unneeded Expenses
Most people spend hundreds of dollars on gas and eating out regularly. Several events are canceled, restaurants are closes and the pressure of showing up to every birthday party has come to a halt. Let's be honest, cooking at home is cheaper anyway and a much healthier option. Use your eating out and gas money to good use. Move that money to pay off debt, savings, or increase giving to the church.
4. Create an Emergency Savings
Use your stimulus check to start an emergency savings fund.
Comment below if you enjoyed these tips and feel free to share your own below! Until next time,