Bulletproof your bank account during pandemic

  • Back-up plan: it抯 times like these that an emergency fund can ease the stress and strain of diminished income or job insecurity. If you don抰 have an emergency fund, you should start one (File photograph)

    Back-up plan: it抯 times like these that an emergency fund can ease the stress and strain of diminished income or job insecurity. If you don抰 have an emergency fund, you should start one (File photograph)

These are unprecedented times, you guys. There抯 sad news everywhere you look, so I want to give you some hope today. Let抯 talk about one thing that can help your specific situation right now, no matter where you抮e at with your finances ?an emergency fund.

Emergency funds are made for such a time as this. If you have one, you抮e probably thanking your past self for the peace of mind you have because of that pile of cash. As you navigate a loss of hours, income, or even your job, your emergency fund has your back.

I抳e counselled people who were able to overcome impossible odds because of their emergency fund. It抯 not just about the money sitting in the bank, it抯 about the power an emergency fund gives you in a crisis. It enables you to act ?or at least react ?without going into a panic or falling into debt. When you have cash saved and the unexpected happens, you have the power to focus on what抯 really important, instead of focusing on money.

If you don抰 have an emergency fund, now抯 the time to start building one. I want you to stash as much cash as you can. If you抳e recently experienced an income decrease or lost your job entirely, you抣l need to take a job ?any job ?to get your income back up. Around here we call it 揼azelle intensity.?To make money fast, you need to have the motivation of a gazelle running from a cheetah!

Now, if you抳e lost your income and you already have an emergency fund, that抯 what it抯 there for. But before you touch it, drop your expenses down to cover the Four Walls first. The Four Walls are your food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. This is just until we抮e all back to normal, and your income is back up to what it was. You抮e in conserve mode, so focus on needs ?not wants ?right now.

If you still have to pull from your emergency fund, treat it like income. Whatever amount you need to move over from savings, enter that onto the income line of your budget. Then, give every dollar a job to do. You抮e running a leaner budget than usual right now, and that means there抯 no room for date nights or dog costumes.

Remember, your emergency fund is a safety net between you and life. If you need to use it, don抰 feel guilty. And if you don抰 have one, start taking steps towards building one today.

I still want you to keep track of your budget during this time, too. Even if you don抰 have an income, budget whatever money you have. If you don抰 tell your money where to go, you抣l wonder where it went. EveryDollar is a free budgeting app I love. It抣l help you stay on track during these uncertain times!

?As a #1 New York Times bestselling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show and The Rachel Cruze Show Podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She抯 authored three bestselling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at www.rachelcruze.com, youtube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze

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Published May 9, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2020 at 5:20 pm)

Bulletproof your bank account during pandemic

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