Being quarantined has forced a lot of people into doing something they may not otherwise be used to: slowing down.
Seeing people around the country using their quarantine time to build forts with their kids, have popcorn and movie nights, go on walks or bike rides, or write positive messages with sidewalk chalk has been a few of the positive things in an otherwise difficult chapter in our nation’s history.
As you spend time at home, you might consider a few things that will set yourself up for financial success when life returns to normal.
1) Sit down with your spouse and hash out your 5 year plan
Does sitting down and talking over your 5 year plan with your spouse immediately bring the thought “when would we find time for that?” That thought is being triggered by a well-seasoned living life in the fast lane mentality that most American’s have become accustomed to. I’m here to tell you, you now have time for that!
Pick a night, have a romantic candlelit dinner together, have the kids play in the basement for a while to give you some alone time. A home date with your wife. Talk about what you are aiming for in the next 5 years, personally and professionally. List out your goals, your dreams, and most importantly your plan for how to get there. This will be an enlightening time for you and your spouse.
2) File your taxes
The tax deadline may have been delayed, but that doesn’t mean you need to procrastinate. By tackling this item on your to-do list, you’ll be ready to enter post-quarantine life with a pep in your step!
3) Go through your last 3 months of bank statements
When was the last time you looked at every item on your bank statement over the past week, let alone several weeks. This practice can be really beneficial for a few reasons:
- Did your child make an in-app purchase to buy those special colorful shoes for Fancy Nancy without you knowing? (This may or may not have happened to me). You probably want to know about that to keep it from happening again.
- Did you forget that you signed up for a trial subscription to HBO and now it is auto-charging your credit card monthly and you aren’t even aware? (Also might have happened to me)
- Is there any undetected fraudulent charges or purchases you were unaware of?
Beyond finding things you might not have been aware of, you might also find by going through the bank statements that certain patterns or spending habits might need to be revised when you actually look at where your money is going.
4) Spring clean your budget
Similar to the last point, spring cleaning your budget takes a bit of intentionality. Going through each line item and dissecting it: Is this item still a priority for us? Are we actually using our Netflix account? Can we save on our auto insurance? Can I pay off the credit cards or consolidate and lower the cost of my cost of debt? How can we increase the amount of savings contributions each month?
5) Convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA
There are rules and guidelines to follow, but generally this is a fantastic time to max out Roth IRA contributions by converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth. Doing so could save you a lot of money in taxes down the road. There are a lot of articles that explain the reason behind it. Here’s one.
6) Read Simple Wealth Inevitable Wealth by Nick Murray
This is a great book that provides a fantastic framework for investing.
We hope we’ve given you a few things to think about from a financial perspective to set you up for success in the post-isolation world. Happy quarantining!