Financial Lessons Learned from the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tiana Clewis: Hey Dreamers, welcome back to my channel where we tackle all things money so that you can use it as a tool to create a life that you truly find worth living.

In this video, we're continuing our discussion started earlier this week about the coronavirus and how it's impacting your pockets. With the stock markets crashing schools and businesses forced to close up and cities instituting curfews and threatening quarantines,

it's a pretty crazy time out there right now for your health and for your wallet. And so if you haven't checked out that video, you definitely need to because you want those tips and strategies. What I don't want anyone to miss is that there's more to the story than the current strain that it's putting on our daily lives - like the fact that I have to record when my children are asleep - SIGH.

If you pay close attention, there are actually a few financial lessons that you can already start to glean from this situation. So now we're talking about those lessons so that our pockets don't get caught unawares by the craziest of life ever again.

Or... Wait, maybe I should say so we're better prepared for the next time life throws craziness our way. Yeah, that's more accurate.

If you're wondering who I am and why I'm even on your screen, let me clear that up for you a little bit. My name is Tiana B. Clewis, and I'm a Financial Lifestyle Coach who has dedicated her life to helping, would've been entrepreneurs use money as a tool to create a life that's absolutely worth living. Why? Because I want you to escape the nine to five hustle, and I want you to just enjoy life. You know, like I do because life is awesome. Even in the midst of the foolishness.

If you like the sound of this mission, like this video, and subscribe to my channel, then make sure you hit the bell so you're notified each week when I drop new videos that will help you hit your financial goals while still enjoying life. Okay? Now for more Corona talk.

Lesson number one is that your emergency fund should come before your retirement savings.

Okay, so have you ever listened to someone say, "Oh, if something goes bad, I'll take a loan off my 401K" or "I have to save for my future?" Well, the reality is, one, if you can't survive the present, you're obviously not going to make it to the future. Right?

But number two, if you're depending on being able to pull money from your 401K and then tragedy strikes your life and your family at the same time that the stock market is crashing, you are up a creek without a paddle.

That's something that a lot of people are seeing right now. They're used to being able to take a loan off their 401K when they need it, but there's no money in their 401Ks right now because the stock market is losing its freaking mind. So this is why it's very important that you focus on having an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses before you take all this time and energy throwing money into your retirement savings. Now, I'm not saying they're [not] both important, but again, if you can't survive the present, your future doesn't even matter.

The next lesson is that getting rid of debt is vital for a safe and secure future.

Let's be real about this: most of the time when something goes wrong in your life, it's not going wrong with the rest of the world at the same time. So in this particular season, things are going wrong and companies are being very, very gracious. Okay. Not all of them, some of them, but still there's a lot of more grace out there than there normally is. And so since companies are now being very gracious, we can sit here and foolishly convince ourselves that the next time something goes wrong, we're going to get that same sort of grace and it's simply not true.

The reality is that, again, most of the time when something goes wrong in your life, it's not going wrong with the rest of the world, so that company is going to continue moving forward as usual. They're not going to waive your late fees, typically. They're not going to be okay with you're late payments. They're okay with your credit score tanking because you haven't been making your payments.

And so if you want to be in a safe and secure place where you're not stressing out because something's gone wrong, and now you have to pay your, pay your regular bills so you can survive and then pay off debt. Well, getting rid of the debt ultimately becomes the cure. So that means once we come out of the season, paying off debt is going to be a very clear focus for you so that you don't end up back in this situation again.

Lesson number three is that you always want to be in a position where you can react quickly to an emergency.

Can I be honest with you guys? Before the coronavirus situation blew itself up here in the United States of America, my family was faced with a very serious emergency. As many of you have heard, I lost my brother a few weeks ago. Just three weeks ago, and so, yeah, things went crazy. You're, we're paying for funerals and we're paying for cleanings and we're paying for things that we never anticipated having to cover. But the reality is because my husband and I were in a position to quickly react to that emergency, we were able to whip out the card and handle what needed handling right then and there.

And then when coronavirus decided to compound the craziness of my life and pop on the scene, we were still able to react to the emergency quickly.

That is the position that you want to be in and it's really hard to be in the position. If you're living life with a really tight budget that has no room, you have no emergency fund, you only have one source of income for your household, and missing a single paycheck is the type of thing that will send your entire family into a complete and utter tailspin. If you're, if that's your situation, if that's what your life looks like, it's going to be really tough to quickly react when there's an emergency that happens.

So what you want to do is you want to get rid of as many of those circumstances as quickly as you can.

So you want to make sure that your budget has a lot of wiggle room. That's going to come from things like debt freedom. That's going to come from having a bigger salary, having more income flowing in. And it might not be just your one salary balloons. It might just be that instead of having one source of income, you now have three sources of income that are able to help buffer, grow the available wiggle room you have in your budget so that you can live your life.

So again, that freedom is going to be important. Growing your income is going to be important so that you can survive and quickly react when an emergency happens.

Of course, having the emergency fund. We've already talked about that.

And then having a side hustle that is flexible. Some people side hustles are kind of getting shut down right now. Some people's primary businesses are getting shut down right now, but you need to have a business that you can be very flexible.

My brother-in-law is a phenomenal example of this. He actually runs a fitness gym and the automatic concern is that, "Oh my gosh, coronavirus has come. No one's supposed to be gathering in big groups. Most of his classes have like 30, 40 people in them. He's going to go out of business." No, he's not. He was flexible in his business and now he's teaching the classes virtually and is kicking butt doing it.

So you have to make sure that your business, your side hustle, whatever you're doing, is as flexible as possible so that you can make shifts and adjustments in the business and still create income. Those are the sorts of things you need to be able to do so that you have the room to react quickly when an emergency happens.

Here's one that you probably didn't expect. It is vitally important that you vote in local, state, and national elections.

Now, typically, I do not comment on politics here. Um, but yeah... Okay... Things are going wrong right now, and it's going wrong to the point that many people are calling our current administration a failed state, and that's a pretty bad thing to say about an administration.

But here's what's so wacky about it. The truth is when you start researching what happened in the 2016 election, research shows that the reason why Trump was able to get into office over, say Hillary Clinton - who would probably have a totally different reaction to this, not a perfect reaction, but a different reaction, that would probably be a little more effective. The reason why he was able to win over her is because voter turnout went down significantly. A lot of people decided that their vote didn't matter, and because they felt like their vote didn't matter areas that Hillary Clinton could have won - she didn't win.

Now, I'm not saying that Hillary Clinton was the better option, that Trump is a terrible President. I'll keep my opinions about that stuff to myself. But what I'm saying is that when you've seen someone who has handled national emergencies in the past, and then you have someone who really has no experience and even his own business continues to struggle - you notice that it's really important that if people are not voting, then things like this happen. Situations like this happen. When a national crisis has come and the administration isn't prepared to handle it.

Uh, again, I'm not offering my opinion on who was the better option. I'm just saying that if you think that Trump being in office is the primary reason of why things are as bad as they are, but you didn't vote, well, I hate to break it to you Sis, but you've actually become part of the problem. And so now it's impacting your wallet, it's impacting the wallets of others, and it's impacting the health of the entire nation.

So make sure that you're voting and local, state and national elections, because when stuff like this happens and you start looking at woulda, shoulda, couldas, well, there's nothing you can do about it at that point. It's already gone wrong.

So make sure that you're voting. Pay attention to what's happening in your local elections, which is naturally going to have more impact on your everyday life. Make sure that you're paying attention to what's happening in state elections. Again, it'll have more impact on your everyday life than necessarily a national election, but also make sure that you're paying attention in voting and national elections because when something happens across the entire nation, you want to be confident that you've done all you can to make sure a good administration is in the White House.

Now as I brace myself to receive a lot of angry text messages, emails and comments from Trump supporters, let's move on to talking about healthcare.

This situation shows that affordable healthcare is important, even if you're healthy. I know a lot of millennials, especially, who say, "I don't need to pay for health care. I don't need to pay for insurance. I don't need to worry about these things. I'm healthy." But coronavirus is showing that that doesn't matter.

There are some people who are considered to be young and healthy who shouldn't be, according to the stats, in critical condition right now with coronavirus, but they are. They're hospitalized. They're in the ICU, and researchers are actually concerned that people who end up in critical condition because of the virus might actually suffer from some long term and I mean like permanent, lung damage. We're not sure yet. They're still studying, but it is a very severe concern out there.

But even if you're not one of those healthy people who ends up in the ICU now creating all of these additional bills for yourself, there's also the concern that you can get infected with the virus, have no clue, don't ever get treated, don't ever get tested, and now you're walking around living your life, infecting people left and right. In fact, that is one of the reasons why these curfews and these quarantines, um, are being implemented and discussed because there are so many healthy people who have no symptoms of coronavirus that are walking around infecting other people.

Or a healthy people who have some really, really mild symptoms, but because they don't want to worry about the cost of paying for healthcare, they don't even go in and get checked out and get tested. Because if they got tested, they would know they have coronavirus and if they knew they had coronavirus, they could say they butts at home.

Having affordable healthcare is going to be extremely important. So one, making sure you vote in elections, especially if you're the type of person who supports universal healthcare. I'll keep my opinion about that to myself.

But also be proactive in your research so that you can find health insurance that you actually can afford. And I don't just mean the premiums. I mean how the health insurance is actually set up. If you can't afford to live with a health insurance plan that has a high deductible, then don't get that. Do everything you can to avoid getting that insurance and do your research to find other affordable options. They do exist. They can be harder to find, but they exist. So do your research.

Also have your emergency fund in place. If things go wrong, your emergency fund is how you're able to afford the health care. So affordable healthcare. It matters. Emergency funds, do your research on great insurance plans and make sure that you're voting and elections, especially if you are a fan of the concept of universal healthcare.

These are just the lessons that I've pulled out of this immediate season. I am sure that more will come as things continue to progress, but you don't have time to stop learning the lessons just because I haven't brought them up yet.

In this season of your life, like every major season of your life, it's vital that you take the time to evaluate what happened, how it impacted your finances, and how you can make a change, how you can improve things. So let's walk through what I consider to be a really simple process and one that I really use on every aspect of my life to evaluate what's going on and how I can make it better.

As things continue to progress, I want you to kind of take some notes on what's happening with your financial situation. Are you struggling to pay bills? Are you struggling to pay for groceries, or is everything going great? Like are you just kind of swimming along?

Well, I want you to then look at those things. Ask yourself three - I put up two fingers - three main questions. What is going right? What is going wrong? And what could have been better?

And these questions are going to be very important because these are going to be the basis for the plan that you create to improve your situation and to protect your family in the future.

Because when you know what's going right, you can double down on those things. You can make sure that those things continue to happen. Even if what went right was a complete fluke, if you can figure out what created that fluke situation, you can find a way to make that a natural part of what you do.

When you're looking at what went wrong, you can actually start to evaluate, okay, why did it go wrong? What can I do to make sure it doesn't go wrong in the future? Or if I can't stop it from going wrong in the future, how can I mitigate that risk? How can I reduce the impact it has on my family? How can I reduce the impact it has on my household?

And then when you're talking about things that can be improved, things that - they weren't terrible. They weren't just a flat out wrong. In fact, they might've actually been kind of right, but you already know that there are ways that this could have gone better. Well, look at those things.

How could they have gone better? What was kind of missing? What was confusing about the situation? How do you improve that particular thing?

And then as you've done these evaluations on what's right, what's wrong, what could be improved, how can you change your behavior to make sure that the things that went right continue, that the things that went wrong get fixed and the things that could've been better do become better? How can you change your behavior?

Remember when it comes to money. Everything is about our behavior. So if we don't change our behavior, none of this evaluation matters. So how can you change your behavior?

And then with all of this that you've just written down, all of this evaluation you've done, create a plan. And then once this crisis passes, implement the plan. Put it to work. Start doing the things that need doing so that you can protect yourself from situations like this in the future.

You want to know how I know these sort of evaluations work. Just aside from my own personal life, I want you to start doing some research on how Taiwan is being impacted by the coronavirus.

You see, Taiwan got hit hard by either H1N1 or SARS - I can't remember which one it was. However, they were hit pretty hard because they're connected to China. They actually share a border with the country of China where all this originated. So why is it that even though they got hit hard by H1N1 or SARS - whichever one it was - but they only have last I checked 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the entire country.

Now I know they're a smaller country, but even then when you do the math, their per capita average of infections is a lot lower than ours of the US. Well, what happened? They did what I'm telling you to do.

They evaluated what was right in H1N1 what was wrong, what could have been better, and then they evaluated those things. They put together a plan, and then when coronavirus hit, they implemented that plan and it went off very, very well. Again, they are doing far better than most other countries in how to handle coronavirus even though they actually share a border with China. I want you to be a Taiwan in the next situation.

So do your evaluations, study, research, ask yourself what went right, what went wrong, what could be better? Evaluate those things. Change your behavior, create a plan, and put that plan into action.

Okay. I think we've touched on everything we need to cover about the coronavirus and God willing, I will never have to go on my podcast or go on YouTube and talk about it ever again.

However, I may have to talk about it again on some calls because some folks do need a little extra help. In fact, if you're one of those people who's struggling to figure out how you're going to keep it all together in the midst of all this insanity, I want to be there to help. So from now through the end of March, I'm offering everyone a free Dream Builders Strategy Session.

Now, if you don't know what these are, these are our one hour sessions that usually sell for $149 but right now I know that there's a lot of people that $149 is just too much in this season. They may have been laid off or their businesses might be reducing their hours, and if that's your life right now, I want to be there to help and to support you.

So let's get on the phone and talk about your budget. Let's talk about your savings. Let's talk about your income sources, and let's talk about any resources that we can find to help you keep it all together and maybe even thrive during all of this craziness.

To get access to your free session, simply go to Scroll down to Dream Builder Strategy Session. Click the "Book Now" button and follow the prompts. Once you get to the payment screen, enter promo code HELP96 - one word, HELP96 - at checkout.

As always, the link to access this session is in the description.

Now that you have these strategies and lessons in mind and a way to link up from a one on one help, let's get connected on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter with the handle TianaBClewis, or you can find me on Facebook at SelahFinancialCoaching.

Also let me know that you found this video helpful by hitting the thumbs up and subscribing to my channel. Don't forget to hit the bell so that you're notified each week when I drop new content.

Finally, if you're looking for more information that will help you take control of your money so you can succeed in this season of craziness, these two videos are exactly what you need.

With that, I'll see you guys on Wednesday. Bye bye.

If you’re one of those people struggling to figure out how you’re going to keep it all together in the midst of this insanity, I want to help. From now through the end of March, I am offering everyone a free Dream Builders Strategy Session. Just use promo code “HELP96”:

Get more tips and strategies on creating a stellar budget here:

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