Seven Financial Lessons the COVID-19 Pandemic Teaches Us (part 2)

4. Debt stinks

For many of us, car loans and credit card balances reflect a lifestyle that we can’t easily afford. We attempt to “keep up with the Joneses,” but they probably can’t afford their lifestyle either. Therefore, we are chasing a façade. And what we can find at the end of the chase is a massive burden. And although you hate the burden, you still have to pay your bills. In tight financial times, the burden feels even heavier. We don’t have enough money to pay the bills, and the accumulation of late fees and interest makes the debt even greater. Debt certainly does stink.

5. Saving for retirement is not for the faint of heart

During bull markets, overconfidence can lead to bad financial decision-making. During bear markets, it is fear. If the market dips, your emotions will beg you to abandon your investment plan and sell it all. This is a big mistake. What leads to successful retirement investing is discipline and a long-term mindset. We need to let our brains override our emotions.

6. Financial margin is a key

Debt-free living, retirement savings, and emergency funds are all worth pursuing. However, to chase after these things, we need financial margin and living paycheck-to-paycheck won’t get us there. We should learn to maintain our existing standard of living at the same time our income increases. Don’t let the number on our paycheck determine the amount we spend.

7. Generosity changes lives

Where and when there is great darkness, light shines even brighter. We have seen the impact that even seemingly small acts of generosity can have on our community. It matters for them and it also matters for us. We frequently regret past purchases but we rarely regret past generosity. Generosity should be a financial priority for all of us.