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Consider Your Finances In Times of Uncertainty: Planned Giving

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Consider Your Finances In Times of Uncertainty

Planned Giving

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In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, people are worried not only for the health implications, but many are also concerned about their current and future finances. Here are a few things to consider in the days and months ahead:

Create a Budget

If you don’t already have one in place, now is a good time to develop a spending plan to pay your bills and manage expenses. This requires looking at your monthly take-home income and outgo. Start keeping track of everything you spend for 1-3 months and then average your expenditures per category. If you discover you have a deficit, see if there are any expenses you can eliminate or adjust. Or find additional ways to earn more income. Having a budget helps you take control of your spending, and provides you with a good overview of how your money is being used.

Build up Your Emergency Savings

Most financial experts recommended that you have 3-6 months of living expenses saved up. This means having enough money to cover your housing, utilities and insurance; basic needs like food and personal care as well as other financial obligations such as student and car loans. To know how much your savings should be, make an accurate list of what your current living expenses are, and gradually start saving toward that goal. An emergency fund provides a safety net and will cushion the blow of any surprise financial setbacks like loss of job, sudden car repairs or medical bills due to a health crisis.

Keep Debt to a Minimum

Debt can’t always be avoided—especially when purchasing a home or financing your education. However, when possible, avoid using credit cards to buy items you don’t have the cash to purchase, and can’t pay off by the end of the billing cycle. Unchecked credit card debt is one of the most financially destructive actions you can take.

Practice Generosity

In times like these, it’s important that we take care and look after one another. For those of us who are in the position to help others financially, we must do so. However, generosity extends far beyond money. It also entails making a phone call to check in, sending a card or note, offering words of encouragement or making a grocery store run. Letting people know that they are cared for and loved goes a long way.

In times of uncertainty, look to God for strength and encouragement. Be wise managers of what you have been given and take encouragement from scriptures such as 1 Peter 4:8-11 (NIV):

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”