5 Things to do during the Coronavirus Pandemic Shutdown
It’s no secret that we’re in uncharted territory with the Coronavirus pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I’m already tired of hearing about it. Unfortunately there’s no escaping it (talking about it at least), as it’s the times we’re living in. It’s the only thing we’re focused on.
We’re being asked to stay at home and limit our public exposure. Maintain social distancing. Business are being asked to shut down temporarily. The market is going crazy.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long this is going to last. It could be a few weeks, or several months. I tend to be on the more optimistic side.
The problem is, we have no control over this. That’s probably very unsettling to most people not knowing when things will return to a sense of normalcy.
With all that said, this is a great opportunity to focus on what we CAN control.
Here are the 5 things I recommend you do during these times.
Exercise - I know the local gym is probably closed, and probably not a good idea to go there even if it is open. But find a way to get out and get some exercise. Go for a walk or run around the neighborhood or even on your treadmill. Shoot some hoops in the driveway. Do something to be active and release endorphins. It will help your mood, and it’s something you need right now.
Be Social - Now I don’t mean have a big party or even a small gathering. I’m saying, pick up the phone and call family and friends. FaceTime with your parents so they can see your face. Organize a Zoom meeting with a group of friends. Turn it into a happy hour!
Press Pause - If you’re working on getting out of debt, and things are uncertain at work, PRESS PAUSE on your getting out of debt and build up a pile of cash (emergency fund). Make the minimum payments of your debts, but save the excess. This isn’t a permanent solution, it’s just to weather this storm of uncertainty. Once we get back to working and a sense of normalcy, get back to crushing your debts…. and you’ll have a big chunk of change saved up to throw at it.
Reduce Spending - If you’re stuck at home for several days or even weeks, this is a good opportunity to reduce spending and save money. You’re going to be saving money on things you would normally be spending on: gas, going out, eating out, travel, etc. Now this could be a tempting time to ramp up your online shopping, but I encourage you to resist the urge.
Continue Saving and Investing - If you’re able, keep investing in your retirement accounts (401k, 403b, IRA, Roth IRA, etc.). Now is a great time to buy if you’re investing for the future. If history tells us anything, the market will rebound, and continue to go up. So if you buy now, you’re buying while it’s on sale… and this sale won’t last for ever!
Now this isn’t an all exhaustive list of all the things you can or should be doing, but they’re some of the most important things to be doing that are going to have the largest impact on your life in your physical, mental, and financial health.
Things are changing daily, so keep informed and be safe out there. Don't make decisions out of fear.
We’ll get through this. We’re all in this together. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
Kyle Hill, CFP®
Kyle Hill, CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional that is based is Kansas City, MO and serves clients Nationwide. He is the owner, founder, and financial planner of Hill-Top Financial Planning, LLC, an independent, Fee-Only registered investment advisor in the state of Missouri that provides comprehensive financial planning, and investment management services to young professionals and families. Kyle helps clients build custom, personal financial plans to help them bring clarity to their financial situation so they can build wealth and become financially independent. He helps clients with a range of personal financial topics ranging from: budgeting, cash flow planning, investing, retirement savings, college savings, insurance planning, tax planning, and much more. Hill-Top Financial Planning, LLC serves clients as a fiduciary and never earns a commission of any kind.