Markets have stabilized a bit recently, so I will take a break from talking investment strategies and consider other concerns that may have arisen from the crisis. Like how do I pay my bills?
OK, so maybe you (or someone you love) lost your job. Bank savings are running short, and there are bills to pay. Where do you go to get the cash you need? Here is a great article by Morningstar ranking the possible sources of cash in order of desirability. A highly recommended read for anyone facing a cash crunch in this crisis. .
Of course, I am going to chime in and add a few caveats. First, in such a situation, expenses need to be cut to the bone. We're talking the rice and beans diet! Of course, in this environment, there's not a whole lot to spend money on anyway, so temptations are greatly reduced! After all, you really don't want to be spending the money you worked so hard to save, or taking on new debt, if you don't really have to! So hang onto whatever cash you have until they pry it out your hands with a crowbar
And what if NONE of these sources of cash are available to you at all? What if even #10 - tapping the credit cards - isn't available to you? As author and financial radio host Dave Ramsey advised in a recent livestream, you need to focus on keeping your home intact, your lights on, your car on the road, and your family fed. He calls these your "four walls". Pretty much everybody else can wait. Credit card companies can wait. (call and tell them about your situation - reports indicate that banks are being uncharacteristically helpful during the crisis) Student loan payments can wait. (request hardship deferrals). If you don't absolutely, positively need to pay it - hold off until this storm passes. You can listen to the recorded version of the livestream at www.daveramsey.com - it contains some great advice for those struggling in this crisis.
Good news on the income side for those who are feeling a bit desperate as well. The bill recently passed by Congress will be upping unemployment benefits substantially for the next 3 months. And there are jobs out there, in essential industries, believe it or not, that are going begging. OK maybe not your dream job - but you might just take whatever is available if you need to keep food on the table!
Be safe out there - and let me know if I can offer any advice or guidance in these troubled times.