Almost overnight, Money Education suddenly became way more important.
In a matter of days, the effects of the Covid-19 virus have landed on more than just our hospitals. Our local businesses, startups, restaurants and bars are all feeling the pinch, which ripples into our pockets as consumers, individuals, families and communities too. Hours are being cut, doors are being closed, and many are scrambling.
So how can we all be a little more secure?
Right now, that calm is Financial Intelligence — knowing what to do in a time that’s incredibly emotion-driven. Financial Intelligence is all about healthy money habits. One silver lining of this shutdown is that it can really help you set good new habits!
Below are 10 important keys to managing your money in a very uncertain time. We invite you to review this guide and share this with anyone else that’s feeling challenged financially right at this moment.
Spending & Essentialism
The first thing we recommend is to make a list of all your current financial obligations, and break them into Essential vs. Non-Essential. Here are some examples:
Essentials- Housing, Car, Health Care, Debt repayment, Utilities, Groceries etc…
Non-Essentials — Restaurants, Bars, Carry Out, Clothes, Shoes, Tech, Social Life, Fitness, etc…
Let’s start with strategies for cutting back the Non-Essentials
2. Pick up a new hobby — There are many hobbies that are free or very low cost — think hiking, cooking, gardening, playing an instrument, writing a blog, board games, exercise, vlogging, meditation etc… Some of these can even turn into side income, but regardless, doing things you enjoy makes you feel better, and therefore less likely to spend.
3. Watch out for online shopping sales — Everything is on sale right now. AND it’s easy to feel lonely and down on yourself right now, but if you are really concerned about your income & financial situation, then don’t buy things you don’t need! If there’s ever a time to cut back, NOW is that time.
Here’s some help. Our 1 hour mini-course Prime Spending: How to Control Your Spending Online is free and only takes 1 hour. It’s all about how to control the emotional urges to shop online.
Non-essential spending is very emotional, so the more you can work on yourself, the easier it will be to let go of non-essential spending. Staying healthy is also a huge benefit here as well.
Strategies for Bills during Hardship
Now for the Essentials.
If you need immediate help with your bills, contact your creditors right away. Most companies and organizations are offering different types of financial assistance right now. Many are waiving late fees, but you should notify them as best practice.
Here are some strategies to cut back on your essentials
So we’ll repeat it again. These are emotional times, and poor financial decisions are usually a byproduct of being emotional. The best thing you can do to be financially intelligent is to stay calm and not react impulsively. This is a daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute practice. But it is completely essential for smart decision making.
Take a deep breath. We’re here to help, but we believe in you. You got this.
Ortus Academy educates families on the behavioral side of money — Financial Intelligence. We’ve been working to empower proper financial behaviors and habits for 5 years.
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, we are launching a TeamHuman initiative making all our online courses available for free (for a limited time).
We are also hosting free workshops on Financial Stability During Uncertainty.
Information on our TeamHuman initiatives can be found at www.ortusacademy.com/TeamHuman