At the onset of the Coronavirus, countless lives changed radically overnight. In response, some panicked. Some retreated. Yet, some will thrive in this new way of assigning value to what you
spend and how you live.
We would like to share several insights that may help you adjust your budget so that you can survive until this passes. First, review your checking account and list the expenses you have had each of the past three months. Pay attention to what date these are paid.
Divide these expenses into two categories: Fixed and variable. Examples of fixed expenses would be mortgage/rent, car payments, insurance coverages, subscription services, and some utilities. Now, list the expenses you can control: Groceries, gasoline, giving, car repairs, utilities, eating out, credit card payments.
After you have completed your list, determine if any of these “fixed expenses” might be moved into the variable expense category. How might you change these if given the opportunity? Adjust the thermostat? Take shorter showers? Adjust insurance coverages? (If you are driving fewer miles, your insurance company may reduce your insurance rates.)
Now, determine how you might reduce your variable expenses. When COVID-19 interrupted life, non-essential employees were mandated to stay at home. Gasoline consumption decreased dramatically. People began cooking at home more and ordering carry out occasionally.
How did you adjust your expenses? What else might you adjust? To best do this, define essential and nonessential expenses. For example, just a few weeks ago, many of us believed that going to the steakhouse often was important. Since mid-March, many people have re- defined essential and non-essential expenses.
When social distancing is no longer required, will you define your expenses the same way? If you have been able to control your expenses amidst these abrupt changes, I would encourage you to add a fixed expense to your budget: savings.
Practice a 10/10/80 budget as you return to a routine after social distancing ends. Give away 10% of your income. Save 10% of your income. Pay your expenses with the remaining 80%. And, if you continue to place the emphasis on healthy relationships and a simpler life, life will be much more meaningful.
If you need any help along the way, feel free to reach out to EPIC Mission.