In light of everything that’s going on, this money diary is going to be a little bit different.
So how is everyone feeling?
Are you holding up ok? Have you kinda mastered your #WFH situation? Are you ok? Sick of cooking yet? Are you ok?? OMG did you watch Tiger King?? Are you ok??? Have you been activity dreaming about the first thing you’re gonna do after this is over?? Are you ok???? Have you been making an abundance of banana bread??? Seriously, are you ok?????
As I’ve become more aware of my money habits, and working on my finances I have realized, having access to money is the difference between swimming or sinking in the event of an emergency and it’s never been more glaring than right now. With the utter uncertainty of this unprecedented situation we’re in, what was a shaky financial foundation in the best of times, is now in a pile of rubble and picking up the pieces to put them back together may never happen.
If you’ve never been in that position, thank your lucky stars. It’s one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s a feeling that won’t let you sleep. Makes your stomach drop when you’re opening yet another bill in the mail. Holding your breath when you pay for groceries at the market; after you’ve checked the prices of everything you needed to get twice or put just $10 in your gas tank on a Monday praying it will last till Friday. Your money worries are like a dull pain in the back of your head. A sense of insecurity that never goes away and when it does, you never want to go back.
Last week I got a message from my boss that gave me a bit of pause. She let my team know that there had been talks of furloughs for City employees until we are giving the all-clear to return to work. The message was a bit all over the place so a co-worker and I had a side conversation about it the next day. I made a call to a “source” and got the confirmation that made my heart stop for a second; furloughs were in fact coming. I immidealy took a look at my savings account and started to count how many months I could go without a regular paycheck.
Here were my internal thoughts:
So I got a solid two months and some change. OK, so the stay at home orders last until June and I’ll be getting another check before this month is out, so it may not be too bad.
Oh, wait! Were getting a stimulus check so that could make it a solid three months and some change.
If I can put my student loans into forbearance, maybe talk to my property manager about holing off on rent for a month, I think I can make this work.
OKAY, I’m good!
But if I take this route, I’ll deplete my savings and would have to pray nothing else comes up while I’m trying to build it back up.
And I will loose my health insurance at some point.
Maybe I should just file for unemployment and not dip into my savings. But how long will that take to process?
And how much will I get?
Well, I’m stressed again! Thanks over active brain…
My freelance gig.
I can use that check in the short term to pay the bills.
Still the issue of losing my insurance depending on how long this last BUT I have savings that could cover some medical cost.
I really wanted to use that income to pay down debt, but I can put that on pause for the short term.
OKAY! I’m good again!
HOLY SHIT! I’M PRIVILEGED! (pause for dramatic effect)
Two words, I never thought I could comfortably say. I’m privileged. I have not one, not two, BUT three options of how I can weather this storm we’re in and if push came to shove I would be ok.
And now my guilt sets in…..
My Facebook feed is filled with stories; some telling the stories of others, some telling the stories of themselves not knowing where their next check is coming from. They are running out of money and fast. How are they going to make rent? Put food in their homes? Pay for all the other bills that keep a household running? For some, they’re working; deemed essential so they aren’t given a choice but if they were, they would still work because they have too. They would take this risk of getting sick because they have to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads; there is no other option for them. And for the ones who aren’t deemed essential…well there is no option for them right now. They have to wait and figure out how they will get by.
Had this happened three years ago, I would’ve been in bad shape, really bad shape. I didn’t have more than $100 bucks at any given time in my savings account, my business was making no money and I could barely pay bills when things were good on the salary I was making. I’ve worked for the past few years to put myself in a place financially that I would not have to stress so much about money; I still do from time to time BUT it’s nothing like the money struggles from my past. I honestly look back at that time and wonder how I maintained a household. I robbed Peter to pay Paul and somehow still got Peter paid; it was honestly me robbing Paul to pay him BUT it got done. And while I’m grateful for the position I find myself financially in during this time, I know the pain of others who are in a bad financial place and this has only made it worse. I feel a sort of survivor’s guilt from it all.
IDK guys ….
This post is not to meant to brag if you find yourself in a bad place with money right now. It’s just me talking. And I don’t have any money advice share; well I have a few tips…maybe I can share them in a future post?
These are uncertain times and I’m lost for the words to bring any comfort. I do know that as cliche as it sounds, things will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Joy does come in the morning. These are sayings that I’ve held on to during my darkest financial times, hell any dark time and it’s never failed me.
I hope you are all well, safe, have some sense of happiness and know that you will get through this.
New here, catch the other post in this series here.