Financial Peace in a Crisis
Don’t Lose Hope
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
There’s a lot of information coming at you these days-everything from the right way to wash your hands to how far to socially distance yourself from another breathing human. And in the middle of all the information overload is your money. Let’s break down what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your money in a crisis.
What Should I Do if My Income is Stable?
- Keep saving!
- Keep working your baby steps. (If that term is new to you, consider joining one of our online Financial Peace University groups starting soon)
- Continue to make minimum payments on all outstanding debt.
- Keep paying your bills on time.
- Use your stimulus money to help those in need. Consider giving to our Benevolence Fund to help those in our church family and community who are negatively impacted by COVID19, or Community Impact to support their ministry efforts in our community.
- As stewards of God’s grace, we should “use whatever gift we have received” to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10)
- “If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously…” (Romans 12:8)
- Look for ways to “live and give like no one else!” Be generous!
- Do not pause your debt snowball.
- Do not cash out your 401k. Contact your financial advisor for guidance.
- Do not defer your student loan payments.
- Do not stop paying your mortgage.
- Get and stay on a budget. Give every dollar a name. Review your expenses against your budget, at least monthly.
- Again, if you haven’t taken Financial Peace before, now is the time! Check out our online group schedule here.
What Should I Do if My Income is Not Stable?
- Pause your debt snowball. If you’re out of work or have a potential job loss on the horizon, go ahead and pause temporarily, but don’t stop indefinitely!
- Make sure your four walls (food, utilities, shelter and transportation-in that order) are covered, then save as much as you can.
- Make the minimum payments on your debt (if you can).
- Cut out all unnecessary spending from your budget (need vs want).
- Get and stay on a budget. Give every dollar a name. Review your expenses against your budget, at least monthly. If you haven’t taken Financial Peace before, now is the time. Check out our online group schedule here.
- Look for a part-time job, sell stuff to make extra money, or start a side hustle.
- Use any stimulus money to cover your four walls and save the rest in your emergency fund.
- Do not take on new debt! Debt is never a good idea, especially when you’re facing a potential recession.
- Do not take out a payday loan.
- Do not get a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
- Do not stop paying your mortgage.
- Do not cash out your 401k unless you’re facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. Contact your financial advisor for advice.
- Seek short-term financial assistance. Try to do everything in your power first. Don’t be too prideful to ask for a helping hand.
- Our Hope Ministry provides short-term assistance and can walk with you as you make decisions and connect you with other ministries or agencies that can support you in your time of need. Call us at 512-331-5050 or email us at [email protected].
Should I File for Unemployment?
- Check with your state government to see if you qualify
- Keep looking for work
- Do not file for unemployment if you can bring in at least 50% of your income another job (full or part time)
What if I Run a Business?
- Take advantage of the payroll tax deferment offered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
- Do not take out a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan if at all possible
- Check out our Facebook page COVID-19, My Work and My Faith for resources and encouragement for business owners.
Wherever you’re at right now, just know you’re not alone in any of this. We’re all taking this one day at a time. But hold on, take a breath, and don’t do anything out of fear. We are going to come through this. Moment by moment. Day by day. Hope springs eternal.
“May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Published on Apr 20 @ 8:46 AM CDT