As the pandemic drags out and cabin fever sets in, we continue to see a divergence between "the market" as defined by the S&P 500 and small business reality. Government intervention by both Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank has stabilized the markets. This is a good thing, but small businesses, and many individuals, are still struggling.
As financial planners, we see connections between our finances and the rest of our lives. Clutter is a perfect example of this. If you can't find things, you're more likely to buy another one. And if your kitchen is a mess (anyone else have a pile of papers on the counter or table?), you're more likely to want to just eat out (or, right now, get take-out). We see a connection between clutter and excess spending. The clutter also stresses us, and sometimes we turn to retail therapy as a result -- creating more clutter.
As we continue to limit our interactions with others, this is a great time to develop new habits and tackle long-term projects that will improve your personal and financial health when we re-enter the world. With that in mind:
- Work on cleaning out your house. You don't need to do a full Marie Kondo, but tackling one area or room at a time will help.
- If you're not already exercising, start. You don't need any fancy equipment or gear. Take a walk outside, or do body-weight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups and crunches.
- Plan your meals. After housing, food is generally the second-biggest expense we see. While we still want to support local restaurants, cooking at home is less expensive and healthier. We recommend planning meals for the week and making a grocery list before you go food shopping. This has the added bonus of limiting trips to the store.
- Review your estate plan. If you don't have one, develop one.
- Attend one of our upcoming virtual events. You'll have to bring your own wine for these, but they will still be informative:
- Social Security Webinar, May 27th
- Adulting 101, May 30th
- Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, June 10th
- We are still open and working remotely. If you want an update on your financial plan, just let us know.
I've attached some handouts on cyber security and payment apps, and a checklist for emergency relief options if you've been financially affected.
We are here for you, your questions, your concerns. Stay safe and well.