Month: March 2020

March Finance Tip

The Scoop:  

I am working on a large post about organizing your finances but thought I should first do a quick post about the coronavirus.   These times remind me of a speech I gave a few years ago to a local organization about navigating your finances during a job loss.  I think a lot of those same concepts apply.  

On top of the coronavirus issues going on around us, some of us may be laid off, having to stay home with children or between jobs right now.   But even if you are at home, there are still some smart tips you can take with your money.

  • First of all, don’t panic!   – In most cases, this is a temporary situation and we will recover.   Stay calm, keep a good attitude and look at this as an opportunity to get your household and finances in order. 
  • Conserve Cash – Think of this time as a time to save a little more.    Without going to work each day, you might be already saving on coffee, lunch money, parking fees, gasoline, etc.  Now, many stores are closed, and you may be housebound, so use the time to get caught up at home reading, organizing, binge watching movies and completing those many house projects.    Stay away from extra credit card debt.    Stay away from things you don’t need on the internet.    Instead, stockpile your cash.   Get excited about not spending money.  
  • Call your lenders – If you are in a tight financial position, call your lenders and see if they are offering any leniency due to the coronavirus situation.   Some are allowing you to defer payments if needed:  student loans, mortgages, car payments, utilities, credit card payments and others may allow you to defer during this time.   Defer means that you are delaying payment until some future date.  If you still have a job and can do so, keep all payments on schedule.  Remember, this is a deferral, not a forgiveness of the debt. 
  • Don’t Hoard – My state is on a lock down, but before this was announced, I found myself stockpiling supplies.   Two bags of dog food, five boxes of cereal, six loaves of bread, and enough canned goods to overflow the pantry.    I was plowing through money each time I went to the store.   One day I went for milk and while at the store, I spent $160.00.     Stores are not closing, there is no shortage of the things I need, and if there was, I know I could put out an S.O.S. and friends would share out of their supplies.    So, I’ve made the choice to stay out of the stores, shop with a list and not buy into the panic and hoarding.     I have enough, and you probably do too.   
  • Let It Be –   I want to confess, that I have not looked at my financial position at all this month.    The stock market has been diving, and I know my investments, retirement accounts and 401K are probably way down.   I’m staying the course, so there is no sense to look and worry.   I’m staying put.   I am going to let it be.  I’m continuing to invest in my 401K even in these uncertain times.   Remember you are in it for the long run, and the market will always go up and down.   If you pull out when the market is down, you lose out when it goes up again; and it will go back up.    Just let it be.   
  • Stay Focused – Keep a schedule and keep yourself focused and busy each day.    This is a time to gather your financial ducks all in a row.. stay tuned for the financial organizing posts coming soon. 

In job loss, (and now in the coronavirus situation) one of my best tips is: “don’t choose a long-term solution to fix a short-term problem.”  Sure, we are going through difficult and unprecedented times, but this too shall pass.  Don’t overreact financially.    Don’t sell your stocks, don’t cash out your 401K, don’t make rash financial decisions amidst all the uncertainty.    Breath in, know we are all in this together and just take it day-by-day.   Concentrate on what you can do, and this too shall pass.     

Rules to live by…. READ!

Many of us are dealing with the Coronavirus, school and work closings and social distancing.    In times like these, finding a few minutes of escape, might be as simple as making time for the things you love in life.    One of my favorite escapes is reading.  

Reading has been a passion of mine since I was a young child.    I remember walking up and down the rows of books at my elementary school library, just pulling books at random.     Today when I go to the library, I still do this random strolling and pulling off shelves, but most frequently I hit the new book release section first.     There I find all types of books and usually come away with a half-dozen books. 

Is it any surprise that I love to read books about budgeting, money, savings, and most recently, college planning?   I’m currently reading “The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms”, by Catey Hill, and “Smart Couples finish Rich”, by David Bach.  But I also love to read fiction, autobiographies, how-to-books, youth and teen books, picture books, blogs and magazines.    Books on tape and podcasts are another form of reading when I am driving around town.    

I will read almost anything.  Often, I am reading what my kids read.    My fourth grader just read a graphic novel called “I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912” by Lauren Tarshis.  It was my first graphic novel and I loved it.   A few years ago my son and I loved “Okay for Now” by Gary Schmidt

On my phone, I keep two lists “Great Books” and “Books to Get”.   Whenever someone mentions a good book, I add it to my list and then go to the library ap on my phone to request the book for free.  If it is not available at the library, I will look at ordering from Amazon, new or used.

On the great books tab, I keep a list of books to recommend to others.   Here is a link to a list of some books that made the list.  You can also access this under the “My Favorites” tab.   I also have a friend who enjoys reading and we often swap books.  

Although my local library is now closed due to the virus, we can still use the drive-up window to pick up books.   I may need to call and ask the librarian to head on over to the new releases and grab me five books that look promising!  I will always find ways to keep reading😊  Pick-up a book today and escape into an adventure, a drama, an autobiography or a mystery.    

Rules to live by March 2020…. READ!

A few books that made my “Great Books List” 


Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

All the Light we Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom 

The Funeral Dress, by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova

Sycamore Row, by John Grisham

Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay  

Stella Bain, by Anita Shreve 


Everything is Figureoutable, by Marie Forleo

On Fire:  The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, by John O’Leary

When to Jump; If the Job You Have Isn’t the Life You Want, by Mike Lewis

If You Want to Walk on Water; You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, by John Ortberg

Project 333:  The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less is So Much More, by Courtney Carver

The Proximity Principal:  The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career you Love, by Ken Coleman

Wyatt Earp: The Life behind the Legend, by Casey Tefertiller  

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912” by Lauren Tarshis (Scholastic Graphic Novel)