If you’re feeling panicked about money in these uncertain times, I want you to hear me on this: You are not alone. You will be okay.
People all across the country are wanting to know how the COVID-19 virus will affect their finances. Here are some of the top questions I’m getting about how to handle money during this trying time.
• What should I do to protect myself and my family right now?
Conserve your financial resources. This means cutting unnecessary spending, like cable television, eating out, and subscription memberships. Focus on taking care of the Four Walls. I’m talking about the absolute necessities—food, shelter, utilities, and transportation.
• Should I cash out my investments or take my money out of the bank?
Absolutely not! The stock market is like a rollercoaster, and you don’t jump off a rollercoaster in the middle of the ride.
If you pull your money out now, you’re guaranteed a loss. But if you ride it out, you can bet the value will eventually go back up. Plus, bank deposits are insured by the FDIC and protected up to at least $250,000.
• How long will this last?
Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is the economy will recover. All you have to do is look at history as a guide. The market has always gone back up, even after the 2008 crash and other pandemics, like SARS.
• How can I give myself some cushion in case of job loss?
Now is the time to build up your emergency fund. Focus on getting three to six months of expenses saved up. If you’re receiving a tax refund, put that money in a savings account. If you need extra money, sell some things around the house, or look for part-time work at companies that are experiencing high demand.
Remember, control what you can control, and don’t let fear dominate you. It may take a while to get through all this, but you’re going to be okay!
Chris Hogan is a two-time #1 national best-selling author, financial expert and host of The Chris Hogan Show. For more than a decade, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, equipping and challenging people to take control of their money and reach their financial goals. His second book, Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—And How You Can, Too, released in January 2019. You can follow Chris Hogan on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.