How can you make the most of your money during a national pandemic?
I know it's a really scary time right now. A lot of us are struggling - whether it be - physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. Even I find myself falling into a spiral of negative thoughts that I can't seem to get out of.
What really helped me was opening Excel and listing out everything so that I could figure out how many months I can survive if I don't have anymore income in the foreseeable future.
So here is the step by step process I used to quickly and easily figure out how much runway I have (screenshots are fictitious numbers):
Create a section for you current funds - current checking account, current savings, etc. Add them all together to get your TOTAL current funds.
Create another section for your current monthly expenses. Include everything as if it were a normal month. Include rent, utilities, insurance, phone bill, student loan and credit card payments, estimated groceries (which will probably be higher than normal due to less eating out), etc.
Add them all together to your TOTAL monthly expenses.
Create a section for "Months until No Money" this is where we will calculate how many months of runway you have. You'll want three columns listed: All Normal, No Student Loans, and One More Paycheck.
<Step 3.1> For the All Normal, divide your TOTAL CURRENT FUNDS by your TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES.
Then make sure to TYPE the number in the cell.
If that number is lower than you thought it would be or you're just not comfortable with the months of runway, move on to step 3.2 and zero out your student loan payments...
<Step 3.2> Then for "No Student Loans", $0 out any student loan payments (right now it's just to see how much extra runway it would give you, if you do decided to stop making payments PLEASE contact your loan provider to make sure you're in the clear to do that!). Then divide TOTAL CURRENT FUNDS by the TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (which should be lower since student loans were taken out).
Now type that number to one decimal point under "No Student Loans".
<Step 3.3> And finally under "One More Paycheck", (this is only if you are still currently working and receiving an income) add the amount of you next paycheck you expect to receive to your "Current Checking". That should automatically increase your Total Current Funds.
I hope this was helpful in calming some of your anxieties. I know for me, it was really good to see how many months of runway I had in the worst case scenario (again the above numbers are fictitious and not mine).
However, if you are not happy with what you're seeing and still have anxiety, there are things you can do right now to bring in more money:
• Sell things you don't need or use right now on Poshmark, Offer Up, e-bay, etc. because it is still an economy out there. People are still willing to buy things and this may even be a great opportunity for them to get things at a lower price than they normally would.
It may take longer to get a buyer but at least just get the stuff listed so you are one day closer to brining in more money.
• If you lost your job, LOTS of companies are hiring like crazy! Look, I know that last place you probably want to work is a grocery store or post office but there are also companies hiring for work from home positions.
Polish up your resume and start looking!
I am here for you guys! This is why I started Money with Madison - to help in good times but more importantly, in hard time!