The spread of Covid-19 has raised a lot of anxiety around money. One of the number one questions I am getting asked is “What should I be doing financially right now?” The answer to this question really depends on your current financial situation and why you are asking the question. Are you concerned you may not have the liquidity to sustain extended unemployment or pay cuts? Are you wondering if you should be investing? Are you concerned about market volatility?
My very FIRST stop with clients is their emergency fund. I always recommend having 3-6 months of expenses set aside in a liquid account that can be accessed easily. When I am calculating this, I am looking at the bills you need to pay to keep the lights on and put food on the table. Now your next question may very well be “what do I do if I don’t have an emergency fund or enough of one?” Well that leads us to my next stop, building a budget.
When I think about choosing a budget, I think about choosing a diet plan. No one likes to be on a diet and often it will take us trying a few to find the right one for us, but we know it is something we need. A budget is very much like a diet, you may have to try a couple before you find the right one for you. Check out our webinar recording of “Budgeting 101” to get started.
Now that you have built a budget & a sufficient emergency fund you may be thinking “should I be investing in the stock market?” This is a more complicated question because the answer is maybe, it really depends on your individual situation. If you have a sufficient emergency fund, have paid off your consumer debt & it is in line with your goals it could make sense.
Everyone deserves peace of mind when it comes to their finances. Working with a Certified Financial Planner who can help you define your goals and evaluate your current financial situation is a great start.