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The COVID-19 outbreak presents an unprecedented financial challenge that impacts families across America, and right here in Manheim. Maintaining financial stability is never easy, and it can be even more challenging during a crises. Here are some simple ideas to help you take the next steps with confidence.
The first move is not to panic. You should definitely have concern, but remove fear from the equation. Our God is an awesome God and he is totally in control. Get counsel and talk about your concerns especially to someone who is informed about the current state of affairs. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all of your needs will be granted unto you as well. (Mt 6:33)
Hold on to as much cash as you would need for items that may require cash to get you through this period and possibly a little more because we are still dealing with a relatively unknown issue and the slowdown is on such a broad scale. Rather than to hoard cash, consider taking some cash surplus and invest in the market at this discounted rate while simultaneously showing support for the great American companies that need your confidence now more than ever.
Getting a better rate on any loan is a good thing as it will always improve cash flow. However, be wary of any hidden cost to refinance. Most people will be looking at how to lower their mortgage payments. Start with how long you expect to remain in that home and factor the cost to refinance back to figure how many years it will take to recover the cost. Again another potential opportunity in this unique time.
Continue to make your debt obligations to the best of your ability and when needed work out a payment plan that can work for you now. Most companies and individuals recognize we are in this together and are willing to compensate. Loan forbearance emerged as a provision of the recently passed legislation to help Americans lessen the extraneous financial strain suddenly thrust upon them in this crisis. Take advantage of this, which could be very helpful from a cash flow standpoint the next 90 days. Note that this is not forgiveness of the loan it’s just protection of penalty for the short run.
Most people never have established a household budget. So start something new. Identify the “Things That Matter Most “ to determine the foundation of your budget. You will find that there were many things that really should not be there through this difficult time. Build cash savings and a long term investment plan into the budget. Businesses should be sure their budget only supports their regular expenses first and then their strategic long range goals.
We recently discovered this collection of insights from C.S. Lewis classic spiritual work, the Screwtape Letters. They seem deeply relevant for our present moment.
“I will cause anxiety, fear and panic
I will shut down businesses, school, places of worship, and sporting events.
I will cause economic turmoil.”
“I will bring together neighbors, restore the family unit, and bring dinner back to the kitchen table.
I will help people slow down their lives, and appreciate what really matters.
I will teach my children to rely on me, and not the world.
I will teach my children to trust me, and not their money or material resources.”
If you are struggling with financial uncertainty and anxiety during this COVID-19 moment, we encourage you to reach out the Certified Financial Planners at Life Stewardship Advisors. Your first consultation is free.
Contact us today.