Quarantine to rethink your personal financial system

Some of you may have lost your job. Some of you may have lost your home or apartment. Some of you may have lost a loved one.

The world has changed. And it isn't for the better, either. All of us are facing the trials of COVID-19. But you shouldn't be waiting in your house during quarantine watching TV or binge eating junk food. You should be using your time to reassess your financial situation, especially if you're barely making ends meet. You should be reconsidering all aspects of your life.

I read from Twitter that got stick in my head, from Jeremy Haynes:
I don't know about you, but this hits hard. But I'm glad that if you're reading this blog, that means you're willing to learn and change your ways. And if you're willing to do that, then maybe you can go a little farther. Here's what I'd be doing:

Have a plan for:
1. Unemployment: One month your snagging bonuses and commission, the next month you're broke, trying to figure out how you're paying for rent since your company laid you off. Well if you're part of the 23 million Americans filing for unemployment, you should be figuring out how to survive outside of ordinary employment. This is where legit, money making skills come through. Having a side gig is common in this modern era. With quarantine and coronavirus, you should be considering the stability of that gig or skill against potential underlying consequences. Have these big questions answered for you: What happens if you lose your job? Is your job stable? If it's unstable, what's going to sustain you in trialing times? The bottom line, how much money do you have that will keep you afloat? Ideally, you should have a year's worth of your income saved away. Minimally you should have three months of savings.

A simple formula is your savings divided by your monthly expenses. Click on the "Afloat" Formula below:
2. Emergencies: The bitter truth is that we cannot foresee the future. So what's your plan if you do break your foot or need an emergency surgery? What's your plan for an emergency? Do you have any benefits that help you? What is the cost of those benefits and do you have to have a job in order to keep them?

Don't make the assumption that emergencies happen only when you leave your home. According to the CDC, most injuries happen inside your home. Also if you're reading this in a potentially dangerous part in your country, plan ahead to prepare yourself for those dangers. Southern California has wildfires. Texas has tornadoes. The east coast has storm surges. Montana has blizzards. Build a sincere plan for these dangers.

Every year, when I'm teaching about niches and ecosystems, my 7th graders have to build a "emergency" house plan, since they technically live in their own human niche. Although it's simple it allows the child to reflect on their own dwelling against potential dangers. Many times people forget that emergencies occur and they have no plan of action. A lack of planning is a certain failure.
4. Supply and Rations: Things could have been very ugly in early 2020, and they still can be. Asking yourself truthfully, were you prepared for quarantine? Did you have enough food or supplies to keep you alive for several days? Did you have proper PPE to keep you safe from the public? Did you have seeds to start your "pandemic garden"? Did you need toilet paper? How much beans and rice did you have? Do you have items of trade? Do you have tools to help you hunt or fish for food?

Build a shopping list for a survival kit and have these items inside it:

  • Water - a half gallon per person per day.
  • Food - consider a can one meal per person.
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Matches/lighter
  • Sleep gear
  • Utensils (including a knife, scissors, cookware)
  • Tools (multi-tool, screwdriver, hammer, pliers)
  • Clothes of all seasons, including an extra pair of shoes
Make sure this survival kit fits in one bag! Use trash bags and lock sealed bags for the items to make them water resistant and you can re-purpose the bags.

Keep it in an area that's easily accessible for anyone in your household. Keep it light and easy to carry.

If you're wanting to update this list, approach it like you're planning for a camping trip. Train your family or house mates to practice emergency exits and have a rendezvous point in case you can't make it home. Have a rendezvous point for your extended family or friends if a disaster is citywide.

I know this blog is primarily focused on finances, but I understand that there's more to life than just money. Your money is a tool for your livelihood. but without a life, what's the use of money? I hope I'm helping you on your journey. When this pandemic recession is over, we'll be back on track for making money, talking about margin percentages. For now, please take care and plan accordingly. Like what Jeremy Haynes says, "You didn't ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline."



Popular Posts