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Personal Financial Management in Uncertain Times

As we stay home and observe the directives of the Government, the single most immediate common concern that cuts across all generational lives is the concern for the future – will I [...]

As we stay home and observe the directives of the Government, the single most immediate common concern that cuts across all generational lives is the concern for the future – will I survive, get by and see tomorrow. The focus and specifics may differ but concern for the future is common to all age groups, a greater majority of us today would say that the most important key to surviving the future is financial security. That is having sufficient resources to cover your daily expenses, emergencies. Whether you are employed, in business, on pension or unemployed personal financial management is very critical in the times we are living in.

The value you place on the things which you apply money to and how closely these are related to your dreams, aspirations and vision will significantly diminish. The main thrust will be / is to protect the downside so that you go through this period with minimal financial strain as much as possible.

Attitude and behavioral discipline will determine your financial success at this time in the wake of an impending deterioration of the situation. Our financial techniques will be relegated to the background and financial survival / security is what will see us through. We should work at removing financial pressure, and there is need to remember that every financial decision you make could break you.

Money acquires a spending character in our lives, what character has your money acquired in this season (Covid-19)? One of the key initiatives to surviving during this time, is to learn how to operate on a minimal budget and not spend unnecessarily.

The following steps or actions could ease our financial strain during these times of uncertainty: –

  1. Assess your situation and put in place mitigating actions for both the short and long term. Evaluate your financial position today and determine whether it will see you through the pandemic, and the slowdown in economic activity. What does your financial situation look like? Figure out what your current financial situation is. Questions we could ask ourselves as we carry out the assessment:
  • What Savings do I hold and how long would these last?
  • Can I activate my contingency plans, those who practice prudent financial management will have kept something aside for a rainy day, this would be the time to activate those plans?
  • How can I change my weekly or monthly expenditure to stretch the length of time my savings can sustain me?

In the Book of Nehemiah 2:13

I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. ESV

Nehemiah takes an assessment of the broken walls of Jerusalem before embarking on the task of rebuilding. Take a financial inventory of your situation and this is going to differ from person to person. You need to take a good look at your current financial position, and see your potential and possibilities.

What is my current lifestyle costing me weekly or monthly?

What have I got to work with?

What will it take to fix my financial position?

Making an assessment, prioritize and consider the cost.

Proverbs 24:27 (ESV)Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. 

We need to set priorities with our money, make sure you consider to cover the essentials – what you need to keep yourself alive and able to work in other words, set aside money to pay all your utilities  and food before anything else.

List Steps to Take.

Now that you know both where you are and where you want to go, all you have to do is figure out what steps you need to take to get through this season of uncertainty.

After assessment some of us may find ourselves in dire need, with all our financial resources having been wiped out.

What do you do?

Seek financial intervention from your family, church and the government.

The big question to consider and carry at the back of our minds is how resilient financially are you? It will no longer be business as usual and will require a cut back on expenditure to see us through this season.

  1. Avoid debt to fund consumption or daily upkeep.

There are programs all over being put in place by the government or otherwise to ease the financial burden. We may find ourselves in positions where it’s very easy or attractive to acquire debt in these times. You can imagine, credit is easily available, at the touch of a button it will become increasingly difficult not to be tempted to borrow. Do not borrow to fund consumption resist this as much as possible.

Proverbs 22:7 – The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. ESV

If you are in debt especially one that exerts pressure you can take the following actions;

  • Ask the Lord to relieve you of financial debt, by paying back what you owe if possible.
  • Talk to your lender, the government has asked financial institutions to give their customers relieve for upto periods of three months.
  • If you have the option to restructure and take up debt with lower interest, you can consider this option but seek the advice of someone more knowledgeable as sometimes there are hidden costs and unfavorable terms that are not so obvious.

 

Proverbs 21:5 – The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. ESV

To be debt free you will need to make lifestyle changes and remain committed, dedicated, persistent and faithful to your plan.

  1.  Save consistently.

Even in this situation of scarcity caused by the pandemic put aside what you can.  Continue saving, building or build an emergency fund. Remember the old adage its not what you make that matters it’s what you keep.

 

Fight the pressure of making big changes or not feeling like you should save at all if you can’t set aside as much as you would like.

We do not know how long this pandemic will last, let’s not stop saving or setting aside something small for the future even in these hard times.

 

  1. Seek Divine Intervention

We are all suffering the economic disruptions brought about by the Covid 19, paralyzing every aspect of our lives. God desires for you to live in total abundance, financially or otherwise. Seek God in these times.

Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. ESV

We are reminded of a story in 2 Chronicles 32:20 Jerusalem is delivered from the Assyrians. The Bible records that King Hezekiah and the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out to heaven in prayer, and the LORD sent an angel who annihilated every mighty man of valor and every leader and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria.

We can call on the name of the Lord at this time and HE will send that angel who bring salvation to us. The LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hands of king of Assyria and all the others, and He gave them rest on every side. The Lord can save us and give us rest from the Pandemic

Let’s seek divine intervention in our financial situation at this time of restrictions and slowdown in the economic activity.

By: Mr. Samuel Abwoga- Life member and financial Advisor

 

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