On March 16th, 2020 our lives changed forever. We had been hit with a world-wide pandemic. Not knowing much, most had hoped it would be a short-term disturbance. Until March 25th when the CARES ACT was passed by congress and moved to the senate. That’s when reality it.
With the passing of the CARES ACT our government made an attempt to keep our economy afloat. The act presented opportunities to close income gaps in the household including the PUA program. With the weekly $600 stimulus some were getting paid more while furlough or unemployed. Yes, there was some hiccups along the way, payout delays and even some were denied PUA. However, the facts are, in July, millions of Americans lost out on the benefit that’s pushed over 100 billion dollars into the economy, not to mention programs that deferred rent, mortgage and utilities also came to an end.
What do we do now?
First, let’s all just take a deep breath. We are in this for the long howl and that’s ok!
Now, let me be care, things are not going to be easy, but there are some things we can absolutely control. It takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make that habit a permanent lifestyle change. Over 100 days since March 16th.
Think about that…
Some of us have been ordered back to the office, some are still working from home and some are still jobless. Either way we’ve built new spending habits over a sustainable period of time. if we consistently follow these major steps, we can ease some of the bleeding and maybe just maybe even build a little wealth along the way….
First, we must make a habit of structuring our finances on a monthly basis. Taking fundamental steps toward wealth and financial independence which include……
1. Making A Serious Commitment – A MUST DO! Commit 100% to taking responsibility of your situation to ensure you reach financial security.
2. Examine Your Financial Situation- This is where you make a conscious effort to review all income sources, expenses, bills and debt. This step is the process of financial discovery. It is to help you document your financial behavior and think of ways to improve your spending and savings along the way.
3. Clean the Clutter- Take action after your examination. Organize your financial picture. Record your income and expenses, either on paper, excel, a budgeting app or with a financial professional. Rank those same expenses, bills and debt by priority (Needs vs. Wants, and what debt cost the most per month). Create a calendar that includes due dates, balances, premiums due, and debtor phone numbers. Set Reminders and absolutely pay the bills that effect your credit ON TIME or at least communicate the lateness with the debtor.
4. Create A Budget- This step is the foundation to building and growing wealth. A budget is a monthly financial goal that you create for yourself and your family based off your net earnings, fix and variable expenses. Get used to utilizing every penny you earn. Most important ensure your budget is Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely (SMART GOALS).
5. Know the Rules- In addition to building structural habits its important to know the rules behind financial success. I like to call it the Rules of Wealth and Freedom. Example A explains one major rule that all should follow while structuring a monthly budget.
A. The 50/30/20 Rule-Your Monthly Expenses should not exceed 50% of your net income. You should save 20% of all net income toward retirement, emergency funds and asset protection. 30% of your income should be available for your own independent use.
Here’s the thing, many households were severely financially impacted, most still are. In March our lives were greatly affected. On July 25th, 100’s of millions of lives was effected again. As we continue to wait for a new bill, my hope is that a little proactive planning can positively affect the near future of the American economy even in a recession.
1. Sanjay, B (2020). A Doctor’s advice: You are what your habits Are
2. Pickert, R Sasso, M & Sheehey M (2020). America’s Jobless Are About to Lose Their $600-a-Week Lifeline. Retrieved From
3. PSU (2018). MoneyCounts: A Penn State Financial Literacy Series
4. Casselman, B (2020). Worst Economy in a Decade. What’s Next? ‘Worst in Our Lifetime.’ Retrieved from