Bulletproof your bank account during pandemic

  • Back-up plan: itís times like these that an emergency fund can ease the stress and strain of diminished income or job insecurity. If you donít have an emergency fund, you should start one (File photograph)

    Back-up plan: itís times like these that an emergency fund can ease the stress and strain of diminished income or job insecurity. If you donít have an emergency fund, you should start one (File photograph)

These are unprecedented times, you guys. Thereís sad news everywhere you look, so I want to give you some hope today. Letís talk about one thing that can help your specific situation right now, no matter where youíre at with your finances ó an emergency fund.

Emergency funds are made for such a time as this. If you have one, youíre probably thanking your past self for the peace of mind you have because of that pile of cash. As you navigate a loss of hours, income, or even your job, your emergency fund has your back.

Iíve counselled people who were able to overcome impossible odds because of their emergency fund. Itís not just about the money sitting in the bank, itís about the power an emergency fund gives you in a crisis. It enables you to act ó or at least react ó without going into a panic or falling into debt. When you have cash saved and the unexpected happens, you have the power to focus on whatís really important, instead of focusing on money.

If you donít have an emergency fund, nowís the time to start building one. I want you to stash as much cash as you can. If youíve recently experienced an income decrease or lost your job entirely, youíll need to take a job ó any job ó to get your income back up. Around here we call it ďgazelle intensity.Ē To make money fast, you need to have the motivation of a gazelle running from a cheetah!

Now, if youíve lost your income and you already have an emergency fund, thatís what itís there for. But before you touch it, drop your expenses down to cover the Four Walls first. The Four Walls are your food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. This is just until weíre all back to normal, and your income is back up to what it was. Youíre in conserve mode, so focus on needs ó not wants ó right now.

If you still have to pull from your emergency fund, treat it like income. Whatever amount you need to move over from savings, enter that onto the income line of your budget. Then, give every dollar a job to do. Youíre running a leaner budget than usual right now, and that means thereís no room for date nights or dog costumes.

Remember, your emergency fund is a safety net between you and life. If you need to use it, donít feel guilty. And if you donít have one, start taking steps towards building one today.

I still want you to keep track of your budget during this time, too. Even if you donít have an income, budget whatever money you have. If you donít tell your money where to go, youíll wonder where it went. EveryDollar is a free budgeting app I love. Itíll help you stay on track during these uncertain times!

ē As a #1 New York Times bestselling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show and The Rachel Cruze Show Podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. Sheís authored three bestselling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at www.rachelcruze.com, youtube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze

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Published May 9, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2020 at 5:20 pm)

Bulletproof your bank account during pandemic

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