I was laid off on Friday, May 15th as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19 .
I gotta be honest, it really sucked.
It was a huge punch to the gut because I had given so much to that organization.
And not only that, but this was something that wasn’t based on anything I had done wrong or anything like that.
But I firmly believe there is a lesson in everything, so I’m going to share seven money lessons that I’ve personally learned during this pandemic.
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Prioritize Your Family and Faith Over Your Career
This one isn’t really something I’ve learned from ‘rona specifically, but the realization of this is definitely stronger now than it was before.
So nine years ago, I started my career in sales. It was a commission only position and I made way below the poverty line, like it was a huge risk at the time.
Fast forward to last year, and I was making six figures and I was essentially running a sector of the company that I was working for.
And so as I said, I was laid off on the 15th of this month, and one of the things that I’ve been super grateful for is the fact that I’ve never put my career before my family or my faith.
Now, I could have moved up the ranks a lot faster.
I could have made more money had I been willing to do things like work on the weekends or take on more projects or even just travel more often for work.
But I realized that the time I would spend doing those things was essentially time spent away from my family, away from being active and serving in my church and other things that were just way more important to me at the time.
And so with that chapter being over now, I’m so glad that I made the choice to say, you know what… my family and my faith come before this.
Getting laid off stinks. It’s been tough, like it’s been frustrating. I’ve been angry. I’ve been sad at times, just all these different emotions.
And I’ve had to rely on my faith and my family during those moments.
So again, for me, the lesson has beenDon't try to balance your life. Prioritize it. Click To Tweet
Keep At Least 3 Months of Essential Expenses Saved.
Dave Ramsey says you should save up $1,000 before you start paying off your debt, and then once you have the thousand dollars, you can start paying off debt.
But I disagree with that.
The truth is $1,000 wouldn’t cover my essential expenses for a month. And I’m sure that’s true for you.
So with that said, my recommendation is that you always need to keep a minimum of three months of your essential expenses saved at all times.
That’s three months of rent, three months of utilities, three months of your normal grocery spending and everything else you need to live saved up at all times.
And keep in mind that’s the bare minimum that you should have set aside. My preference is that you work your way up to six months, but three is a fantastic starting place.
We personally keep 12 months of expenses saved because of my career and Taylor’s health.
So here’s what you’re going to have to do. You’re going to have to accept the fact that personal finance is personal, and you’re going to have to look at your situation and apply some sound logic to determine just what you need.
But at a minimum, you should have three months of expenses saved.
Cash is King
So I remember these posts floating around social media where folks were asking, would you rather have $500,000 or would you rather have an 800 credit score?
And so many people were actually picking the credit score.
And so if that was you, hopefully this pandemic has exposed the flaw in that logic, but just in case, let me explain why there’s a huge flaw in that line of thinking.
So in a time like this, some banks aren’t lending as freely so it doesn’t matter what your credit score is. Borrowing money is tough right now.
That credit score isn’t putting food on your table- money is.
But don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying credit isn’t important.
What I am saying though, is cash is and always will be king.
And so with that said, my hope is that when this is over, we have more people focused on building wealth and less people focused on building credit because as you build wealth, something phenomenal happens, you start to build credit.Focus on building wealth, let the credit take care of itself. Click To Tweet
Always Buy Life Insurance Outside of Work
So in just the last two months, 10’s of millions of people have lost their jobs.
But what’s even crazier is just how many people never got life insurance outside of work and are now living without life insurance during a global pandemic.
If people depend on your income to live, you need to have life insurance….period.
Here’s an article I wrote that will help you figure out the details of a great life insurance policy:
The last thing you want is for your family to just struggle to live and maintain a good quality of life if something happens to you.
Live on One Income
So when we paid off our debt from 2014 to 2016, my wife and I basically lived on her income and sent most of mine to debt.
We kept that up as we built our emergency fund and even as we transitioned into wealth building.
And even as we were going through the home buying process, we ran the numbers based on her teaching salary.
And when we decided to buy cars with cash, yes, it was because we were committing to staying away from consumer debt. But also, we wanted our essential expenses to be able to be covered by one of our incomes just in case one of us lost our jobs, which is something that we’re going through right now.
So again, I don’t have the income right now, but we’re comfortable because Taylor’s salary covers all of our bills. There’s also still a little left over to keep saving or investing with.
We also still have 12 months of our expenses saved that we may never even have to touch because again, all of my wife salary covers our expenses.
So as you’re building your life and as you’re making these big decisions, set yourself up to live on one income when times are good, so that you can continue to live comfortably when times get tough.
Keep More Than One Income Stream
Now this is one that I wish I had spent a little more time being better about.
So because we’ve been winning with money for the last like six years, I really didn’t place a high enough value on creating more income streams within winning to wealth and even outside of this business.
My focus has been on just creating really good content that helps you guys grow.
I haven’t spent a ton of time promoting a lot of brands and businesses and doing things that really generate income like I could have been doing.
Now that I don’t have my w-2 income, I do see the value in creating additional income with this brand.
So with that being said, I’m going to be promoting brands that I have tested and that I truly believe can help you manage your money better.
I’m going to be promoting services that I think you guys will love and will again help you manage your money better as you attempt to build wealth.
That also means that I’m going to be creating my own products that are going to help you manage your money better.
Outside of Winning to Wealth, I’m going to be exploring some other ways to use my talents and things that I’m gifted in to generate some income because it is important, and I’m seeing that now as I’m also seeing just how little control we have over our jobs and our incomes.
So that’s a challenge for me to you is to just look into a few ways that you can create some income outside of your W-2 income.
And I’d love to hear from you in the private Facebook group.
Always be Flexible
One of my favorite quotes is from Mike Tyson.
He says, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. And I think we’re all kind of finding that to be true.
We came into this year with plans to max out our 401 K’s. With plans to max out our IRAs.
We also had plans to save for a trip to Europe next year.
All of these plans but ‘rona came along and punched us in the mouth.
And I gotta tell you, it was a heck of a punch.
But just because we got knocked off our path a little bit doesn’t mean we stop making progress.
It doesn’t mean we stop making moves.
So yes, it’s still important to have goals. And yes, it’s still important to have a plan to reach those goals.
Just make sure that you’re writing those plans in pencil because as OutKast says, you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.
So always, always, always, stay flexible about the methods you use to reach your goals.
Have you learned any money lessons during ‘Rona?
What are they?
Tap here and let me know.