Millions of Americans are going through financial difficulties. What changes can we make to our money habits?
[Darris McNeely] Have you received your check yet? I have. Talking about the check that the government has been sending out, the United States government, during this pandemic crisis, this massive government bailout where virtually all Americans are getting some form of check to help them through this time as they've lost their jobs. I looked at my bank account a few days ago and there it was. So I know a lot of people will be benefited by that. They've lost jobs, they've been furloughed short hours and expenses keep mounting up and it'll be a bit of a help for a lot of people, but I think that it brings us to a question and that is a larger question that we're all asking, what have we learned during this time of pandemic, the quarantine, and all that we have been through?
Financially, I think there's a big lesson for us all to learn in terms of preparation. I read an article in "The Wall Street Journal" this week that said that up to a half of all Americans do not have adequate savings to get them through even a short time without work for whatever reason and that is being highlighted during this massive economic shutdown has taken place. So the government has done its part and it will help, but it will, in the long run, not be quite what a paycheck will be for a number of reasons.
But here's the lesson. What have we learned? Many lessons, but financially we need to prepare. We need to plan ahead. Most financial experts will say that a person should have anywhere from four to six months of living expenses in cash saved back for a time like this. Now, that may be difficult for a lot of people to have, I recognize, but the only way to even begin to get there is to start putting money back and to prepare. I hope that all of us will examine our habits coming out of this.
There's a proverb in Proverbs 21:17 that may help us to kind of point in this direction. It says, "He who loves pleasure will be a poor man. He who loves wine and oil will not be rich." Now, there's a lot packed into that particular verse. We all like to have a movie out, go to a concert, spend on a nice trip or whatever it might be, but if we do that without laying aside money, in a sense paying ourselves first, then poverty is going to be there, especially when something unexpected happens. To love wine and oil by itself is not wrong, but if we spend on luxuries, on pleasures without first taking care of ourselves, paying ourselves, laying some money back and planning for the future like this, then it says that we will not be rich and it does speak to being prepared for a time like this.
So what have we learned? Well, I hope that we learn financially to prepare for tough times and to begin to defer certain ratifications, certain other needs that we might think are needs and may not be and begin to prepare financially for the next crisis that might come once we get through this one.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.