Do Not Be Afraid
It is so difficult to make rational decisions when we are in a state of fear. It’s important that we remember 1 Timothy 1:7, where we are reminded that God has given us a spirit of Power, of Love and of Sound Judgement. Let’s break down this verse:
Spirit of Fear
God did not give us a spirit of fear or cowardice, one that fears men or even viruses amidst a global pandemic. Our spirits need not be discouraged or deterred from what we were called to do before the outbreak. Whether we were honoring and serving God through leading our families, our employees, our churches or our businesses, that mission is likely unchanged. Perhaps we need to approach it differently than we did previously, but that is still our mission.
Spirit of Power
As followers of Christ, our minds are fortified and strengthened by Him to resist temptation, to endure hardship, to rise above our circumstances, and to continue the race – especially when it gets difficult.
Spirit of Love
Because we have the Spirit of Love, we are inclined to love God and other people. We aren’t intimidated into cowering in the corner just to survive. Instead, we are looking for ways to serve others and to thrive!
Spirit of Sound Judgement
Sound Judgement implies sobriety, moderation, temperance, purity, and honesty. When we are operating from a place of sound judgement, we demonstrate prudent conduct and behavior, and we don’t allow ourselves to be swayed from what we know we must do.
Go back and read 1 Timothy 1:7 again. And breathe.
Get On A Budget
Of course, we need to be budgeting amidst COVID-19. Perhaps it’s even more important now than before! Income gets reduced, prices go up, money gets tight. We have to decide where our money is going be used, and make it so.
Take Care of Essentials
When money gets tight, we need to make sure these things are taken care of in order, before anything else.
Pump the Brakes on Debt Snowball
If you’ve lost your job or experienced a reduction of income due to COVID-19, it’s important that you re-evaluate your debt snowball. It likely makes sense to pump the brakes, pay the minimums and stockpile the extra money until this pandemic passes over.
Utilize Emergency Fund (If Needed)
If your income is still flowing as normal and you have no threat of lost income, you shouldn’t need to use your emergency fund. But if you have lost your job, been laid off, or if you feel a real threat, be prepared to use that emergency fund if you need to. That’s why you saved it in the first place! Just remember not to keep spending the same way you did before the income gap. Pull back everywhere you can to make your emergency fund last as long as possible.
Beware Cashing Out Retirement Savings
You may be tempted to cash out your retirement savings early. Do your best to avoid this temptation. Pulling money out of the market in the middle of financial turbulence is like jumping off a roller coaster in the middle of the ride. It goes up and down, just like the market. If you bail out on a roller coaster mid-ride, you’re gonna get hurt. Likewise, if you bail out on the stock market mid-ride, you’ll likely miss the rebound.
Finally, remember that many people around the world are suffering right now. People are concerned with their safety, and many are struggling to make ends meet. Let me just remind you to be generous wherever opportunities present themselves. Maybe that’s giving financially to support others. Perhaps is practicing social distancing to help ensure the safety of others. Whatever it looks like for you, be kind.
Your Financial Journey
Whether you are still working on getting that first $1,000 in your Emergency Fund, or have progressed on to Living and Giving Like No One Else, I would love to hear your story and understand how I can help you achieve your goals.
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