The decisions we make now will impact us in the future…
Quarantine. Lockdown. Shelter in Place. Social Distancing. COVID-19. Whoever heard of these terms before or even knew what they meant let alone were intentionally living them every day until now!?! None of us will ever have another Spring, April, Easter, or second quarter of the year like this one again. None of us will have spent as much time at home as we have recently, and the uncertainty of how much longer we should stay at home is still to be determined. This is definitely going to be a month/year to remember.
Ironically, the theme for my blog this year is also related to being at home. We’ve been taking a home tour, focused on a different room or area of our home each month, to work on getting our financial house in order. So with our Stay at Home efforts recently, where do you find yourself going to relax or the first place you head after your workday ends? For those of us in the southwest right now, it’s our backyard. When I lived in Wisconsin, April was too chilly (and perhaps still too white) to spend time in the back yard yet so it can vary depending on where you live. But we all have a favorite “unwind” spot.
National Financial Literacy month…
April is National Financial Literacy Month and with COVID-19 at the top of our minds, it’s an appropriately themed month for us to be spending more time thinking about our financial life. Whether we relax in our back yard right now or somewhere else at home, it’s an especially timely reminder for us all to be spending some of our R&R time taking stock of our current finances and the decisions we are making that impact us now as well as into the future.
Since the world is in crisis mode right now, whether it has impacted you personally, indirectly, or negatively, it is wise to recognize and compile your own personal financial essentials checklist in case you or someone you know ends up in the hospital (See Everplans Essential Planning Checklist). This may be a good time to help parents or other loved ones and talk about their situation, along with how you may be needed to help with their resources and what their wishes are for the future.
From a positive standpoint, many of us are using some of our extra time at home to catch up on personal projects or initiate home improvement projects. So how can we stay productive regarding our financial lives during this time too?
In the spirit of April being National Financial Literacy Month, I have a suggestion and a tool to help. I’ve created a document that not only helps you compile your “I Own, I Owe” list (also known as a net worth statement), it also doubles as your estate planning checklist. Check out My Financial Blueprint and use some of your “relaxing” time at home these days to capture your big picture all in one place (the title, value, beneficiaries, and POAs on all your assets). Once you complete this fillable PDF, you may find you have some additional homework to do! Additionally, if you get stuck, I am here to help. Either way, it’s a great snapshot of what should be the foundation for all your future financial decisions, even after COVID-19 is just a memory.
Marie Burns is a Certified Financial Planner, Speaker and Author of the bestselling Financial Checklist books.