April 21st, 2020 | | Rachel Carpenter
It is safe to say that we are living in unprecedented times. People are being asked to shelter in place, many businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors, schools are transitioning to distance learning… Simply put, things are very different right now.
In this time of chaos, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. We all have different methods for coping with anxiety and uncertainty, but for me, I have always turned to productivity as a method of coping. Whether it be cleaning, organizing or exercising, doing something productive has always been a solution for me. While many of you are stuck at home, I challenge you to do something productive – organize your finances. Here’s how:
Start with the overview.
This time at home can provide you with a great opportunity to get an overview of your entire financial situation. Applications such as Mint or Geezeo (available as “Financial Manager” on Deerwood Bank’s online banking program) are awesome tools that automatically connect to your accounts and provide you with a summary of your entire financial situation in just minutes.
Think about the why.
Once you have gotten a snapshot of your entire situation, it is time to ask why you are in that position. If you believe you are in a good financial position – great! Think about what habits or decisions got you there and continue to encourage those actions.
If you are not happy with where you sit, ask yourself what decisions or actions got you in that place? Think about those decisions and strategize a plan that will discourage those decisions. Whether this bad situation is due to bad decisions or not, create a list of actionable items that will help you get out of this position.
Put your plan in place.
It is pretty easy to come up with a plan, the tough part is sticking to that plan. In this time of chaos and boredom (weird, right!?), it can be very easy for me to start wandering the internet and finding things to purchase. I continue to remind myself that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and just because I have a lot of time to search the internet, it does not mean that I can spend my days purchasing items that catch my eye. I challenge you to stick to a plan as best you can.
Think about the future.
One thing that has kept me sane during this pandemic is the idea that this will pass. We don’t know when, but we do know that day is on the horizon. To keep focused, I find myself asking “Where do I want to be on the other side of this pandemic?”. I can have a house full of items that I found on Amazon, or I can use this time to build my savings for a future goal (think – house, car, college savings fund). While most of us are stuck at home, we are probably living cheap. Use this extra portion of your monthly budget to make progress towards future goals.
Whether or not you take this time to organize your finances, I hope that you and yours are staying safe, healthy and positive. We look forward to the day that we can welcome all of you back into our banks to share a cup of coffee and a bag of popcorn 😊